News / Asia

Pakistan's Army Chief Dismisses US Charge of al-Qaida Links

Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Adm. Mike Mullen during an aerial tour of Northern Pakistan, Jul. 2010 (file photo).
Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Adm. Mike Mullen during an aerial tour of Northern Pakistan, Jul. 2010 (file photo).
Peter Cobus

Pakistan's army chief is dismissing U.S. accusations that its military spy agency supports al-Qaida-linked militants who attack American targets in Afghanistan as "not based on facts."

U.S. officials have long maintained that Haqqani militants attack U.S. targets in Afghanistan and then take shelter in sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region. On Thursday, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, took the criticism a step further, saying the Haqqani network is a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.

He said that among other attacks, the ISI supported the Haqqanis' assault last week on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, as well as the September 10 car bombing of a NATO base in central Afghanistan that wounded 77 American soldiers.

In a statement Friday, Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani blasted Mullen's comments as a "blame game" and categorically denied the accusations that Pakistan is conducting a Pakistani proxy war in Afghanistan and that the ISI is supporting the Haqqanis.

He said Mullen's statements were "especially disturbing" considering the two men had what the Pakistani general called a "rather constructive" meeting earlier this month in Spain.

Kayani also said singling Pakistan out is "neither fair nor productive," implying that Pakistan's contacts with the Haqqanis are part of ongoing reconciliation efforts.

Earlier Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said it is critical that Pakistan "break any links" it has with the Haqqani network. He also urged Islamabad to take immediate action against the militant group to ensure it is no longer a threat to the American or Pakistani people.

Pakistan has repeatedly rejected U.S. accusations that it helps militants. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar hit back at Mullen's remarks late Thursday, warning that the U.S. risks losing an ally if it continues to make such statements.

Khar told a private Pakistani news channel late Thursday that the U.S. cannot afford to alienate the Pakistani government or its people. The foreign minister said that if the U.S. chooses to push Pakistan away, it will do so at its own cost.

In Karachi, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told reporters Friday that the U.S.-Pakistani relationship is fraught with difficulty, saying "they can't live with us [and] they can't live without us."

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs