US Prez hopeful calls for a rethink of ties with Pakistan

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Washington, Jun 16: If anybody thought that Pakistan-bashing is at times a pre-electoral trend in India, then please have rethink as it appears that US Presidential hopefuls have realised the truth and are beginning to speak about the south-east Asian nation's indulgence in terror-activities. Ironically, all that is only on the election eve, while they conveniently prefer to forget that when it really matters the most.

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and a Republican Presidential aspirant, has spoken out against the arrest of those people who helped the US in the killing of Osama bin Laden and said that a large element in the ISI have become pro-Taliban and pro-Al-Qaeda.

For starters, ISI is the official spy agency of Pakistan.

In an interview with the Fox News channel, Gingrich said, "Well, it says to me we better rethink everything about our strategy in the region and we better rethink our intelligence community. We've given Pakistan $20 billion since 9/11. It's very clear that large parts of Pakistani establishment are deeply anti-American."

He added, "We should be angry that they were in fact hiding bin Laden. Instead of saying, boy this really great, they're now saying, how can you embarrass us by killing him on our territory when apparently, they were protecting him."

Calling for a rethink on the US-Pak relation, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said, "He wasn't hiding in a cave in Wazir-land. He was in fact in a military city within a mile of their national defence university in a large compound. And when Pakistani reaction is to punish the people who are helping America, I think we better rethink our entire relationship."

Responding to a question on the arrest of the CIA informants by Pakistan, he said, "You've got to recognize we we've been relying on intelligence units like the Pakistanis who now turn out to have a very large element which is pro-Taliban and pro-al-Qaeda. I think the Congress had better revisit all the ground rules for effective American intelligence."

And added, "I've think you've got to go nose to nose with them and hold them accountable. I don't think you can allow people to arrest your friends and to arrest people who tried to help you and do nothing about it. Why would anybody else in the world help us if we're going to be that helpless?"

Earlier on Jun 15, ISI arrested five CIA informants, including a Army major, who supplied information to the CIA ahead of the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

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