Homegrown militants overtake India as top threat to Pak: ISI

Washington, Aug 17 (ANI): An internal assessment done by Pakistan's powerful military spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, has found for the first time in 63 years that it expects a majority of threats to come from Islamist militants rather than India, which was till now considered the greatest threat to Pakistan's security.

According to ISI, homegrown Islamist militants have overtaken the Indian army as the greatest threat to Pakistan, a finding with potential ramifications for relations between the two rival nations and for the US-led war in Afghanistan.

Reviewing national security, the ISI's assessment report gives a two-thirds likelihood of a major threat to the state coming from militants rather than from India or elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"It's earth shattering. That's a remarkable change. It's yet another ratcheting up of the Pakistanis recognition of not only their own internal problems but cooperation in the war on terrorism," said Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism specialist and professor at Georgetown University.

US officials are worried about elements of Pakistan's Army, which they say includes retired ISI officers, who continue to lend support to militants, the paper reports.

The US, which gives between 1.5-2 billion dollars in military aid to Pakistan annually, is particularly concerned about one of these groups, the Haqqani network. Officials recently stopped asking the Pakistanis to take action against the group, which has strong ties to al Qaeda.

The ISI's new assessment is at odds with the projection of India inside Pakistan. Politicians and the media regularly hold up India as working to undermine Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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