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Mike Mullen, DOD: Pakistanís ISS Uses al-Qaida Linked Haqqani Network

September 22, 2011

The top U.S. military official has accused Pakistan of exporting violent extremism to Afghanistan by using militants as an ďarmĒ of its military spy service.

Washington blames Haqqani operatives, with Pakistanís Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) support, of planning and conducting a September 11 truck bomb attack, as well as last weekís assault on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

 

In his final congressional testimony before retiring next week, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, told U.S. senators Thursday that Pakistanís ISS uses the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network to act in Afghanistan against Afghan and coalition forces.

Adm. Mullen said that by exporting violence, Pakistan has eroded its internal security and position in the region. He also said Pakistan has undermined its international credibility and threatened its economic well-being.

Speaking alongside Mullen, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Pakistan must take steps to prevent safe havens for the Haqqani network. Late last week, Panetta warned the U.S. would take action to protect its forces in Afghanistan from Pakistani-based militants, but he did not elaborate.

U.S. officials maintain that Haqqani militants have been attacking coalition Afghan and coalition troops in Afghanistan and taking shelter in sanctuaries across the border in Pakistanís North Waziristan tribal region.

Pakistan has repeatedly rejected such accusations by the U.S. Pakistanís Information Minister Firdous Ashaq Awan told VOA's Urdu Service that Pakistan is working for peace in Afghanistan and that what he called ďpropagandaĒ accusing Pakistan of helping militants is meant to sabotage Islamabadís efforts.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik promised to take action against the Haqqani network if the U.S. provides sufficient intelligence to help in the effort.

Malik told reporters Wednesday that Pakistan is cooperating with the U.S. in tackling the issue of militancy in the region. But he maintained that the Haqqani network is not in Pakistan.

Admiral Mullen also says the U.S. has credible intelligence that the Haqqanis were responsible for a June 28 attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in the Afghan capital, which is popular among foreigners and government officials.

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