Americans express doubts about ISI,Pak military ability to crack down on insurgents

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Washington, July 28 (ANI): A former US military officer has expressed doubts about the ability of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to crack down on every militant group inside its borders even if it wanted to.

The former unnamed officer's views are among many opinions expressed by Americans who have all along viewed the Pakistani military establishment with suspicion, and now more so in the wake of the leak of over 90,000 classified documents that highlighted controversial aspects of the ongoing war against terror in Afghanistan.

The account of alleged collusion between Pakistani intelligence and the Taliban in the Afghanistan war logs has convinced some Americans that the Pakistani military, which runs the ISI, as a double-dealing entity that accepts one billion dollars a year in US funding while quietly helping Afghan insurgents.

Although the quality of evidence against the ISI in the logs is low, experts say there is strong evidence to suggest collusion elsewhere, The Guardian reports.

The main focus is along the lawless 1,600-mile frontier with Afghanistan, where insurgent commanders can recruit, re-supply and seek finance with little interference.

Despite behind-the-scenes pressure from the British and US governments, the ISI has taken little action to break up this safe haven. Hardly any Taliban leaders have been arrested, in contrast with the dozens of al-Qaida fugitives rounded up elsewhere.

The whereabouts of the Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar continue to remain a mystery.

Militancy experts say many Taliban leaders have abandoned Quetta for the sprawling city of Karachi.

Even at senior levels of the US administration, the official said, the nature of the ISI's relationship with the Taliban was unclear.

"Is it command and control? We don't know. It's one thing to provide a group territory and let them raise funds, recruit and give tactical advice. It's another to be able to tell them to do something - or to shut them down at will," he was quoted, as saying.

Analysts say it is clear that ISI policy towards the Taliban, much like Kayani himself, is an enigma, and in reality has multiple strands, opportunistically supporting some groups when it suits strategy and perceived interests, and fighting against groups on others.

The ISI, they say, is on its own side. (ANI)

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