US funded ISI to create militants: US official

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Washington, Mar 6: In a startling revelation, a top US military general claimed that US has helped Pakistan to create extremists elements in the country.

While praising Pakistan action against the militants, General David Petraeus, Commander of the US Central Command in an interview by Charlie Rose of the PBS said US along with Saudi Arabia funded the ISI.

Asked by Rose if US was satisfied with the Pakistan's effort ot wipe out Taliban, he said, " I wouldn't allow you to put words in my mouth."

"What I would say is that Pakistan has made significant progress in its fight against extremists threatening its existence. And there is growing a growing recognition that the other extremist elements, also in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, have a symbiotic relationship with the tribal areas threatening them, and over time they are dealing with them as well," Petraeus said.

"But, again, look, we have a chequered past with Pakistan, and we need to be up front about it and recognise it. We've walked away from that country three different times, including after Charlie Wilson's war after we established the Mujaheddin," he said, referring to the days of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when the US took the help of Pakistan and Afghan Mujaheddin against the Russians.

"Our money, Saudi money, others joined together, helped the ISI, indeed, form these elements which then went in and threw the Soviets out of Afghanistan with our weaponry. And then we left and they were holding the bag," he said, acknowledging that it was the US which helped ISI to form these extremist elements.

"What I would say is that Pakistan has made significant progress in its fight against extremists threatening its existence. And there is growing a growing recognition that the other extremist elements, also in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, have a symbiotic relationship with the tribal areas threatening them, and over time they are dealing with them as well," Petraeus said.

Petraeus said that Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation's promise of USD 1.5 billion of non-military aid to Pakistan for the coming five years was an attempt to maintain Pakistan's confidence on US.

"We have to continue to build the trust, the confidence that we're going to be a constant partner," he argued.

Acknowledging the difference of opinions between the two country with regard to Afghanistan, he said that elimination of al-Qaeda was the only common factor between US and Pakistan.

"But it also has an interest that is somewhat different than ours, and that is their strategic depth and always has been for a country that's very narrow and has its historic enemy to its east. So again, we just have to appreciate this".

"This is not unique, of course, just to Afghanistan and Pakistan and throughout the world. We have interests, they have interests. What we want to do is find the conversion interest, understand where they are divergent and try to make progress together," Petraeus said.

OneIndia News

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