US rethinks blames on Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: With facts surfacing about Jalal-ud-Din Haqqani being a former blue eyed of the Americans, Obama administration has started reviewing its stance based on Admiral Mike Mullen’s “overstatement” now under scrutiny.Besides unveiling of the facts about Haqqani and his so-called network, the expression of unity on part of the Pakistani nation in defence of its sovereignty has forced the Americans to back off from their aggressive stance threatening unilateral actions inside Pakistan.

In addition to the web-searched picture of Haqqani with the US President Ronald Reagan, media kept on digging more about connections of the US and the Haqqanis. A master piece in this regard is available on Wikkipedia’s page for Haqqani. It reads “The influential U.S. Congressman, Charlie Wilson, who helped to direct tens of millions dollars to the Afghan resistance, was so enamored of Haqqani that he referred to him as “goodness personified.”

Reagen-with-Taliban

“It appears that Americans would now intend to hush this entire matter up by making retiring admiral a scapegoat for his statement alleging Pakistan that is now described as an overstatement,” a key member of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gailani’s cabinet told Online on Wednesday. An influential American newspaper reported on Tuesday September 27, that statement of Admiral Mullen has become under scrutiny. “Adm. Mike Mullen’s assertion last week that an anti-American insurgent group in Afghanistan is a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s spy service was overstated and contributed to overheated reactions in Pakistan and misperceptions in Washington, according to American officials involved in US policy in the region.

The internal criticism by the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to challenge Mullen openly, reflects concern over the accuracy of Mullen’s characterizations at a time when Obama administration officials have been frustrated in their efforts to persuade Pakistan to break its ties to Afghan insurgent groups, it reported.The administration has long sought to pressure Pakistan, but to do so in a nuanced way that does not sever the U.S. relationship with a country that American officials see as crucial to winning the war in Afghanistan and maintaining long-term stability in the region.

According to the paper, Mullen’s testimony to a Senate committee was widely interpreted as an accusation by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Pakistan’s military and espionage agencies sanction and direct bloody attacks against U.S. troops and targets in Afghanistan. Such interpretations prompted new levels of indignation among senior officials in both the United States and Pakistan.Mullen’s language “overstates the case,” said a senior Pentagon official with access to classified intelligence files on Pakistan, because there is scant evidence of direction or control. If anything, the official said, the intelligence indicates that Pakistan treads a delicate if duplicitous line, providing support to insurgent groups including the Haqqani network but avoiding actions that would provoke a U.S. response……..

A senior aide to Mullen defended the chairman’s testimony, which was designed to prod the Pakistanis to sever ties to the Haqqani group if not contain it by force. “I don’t think the Pakistani reaction was unexpected,” said Capt. John Kirby. “The chairman stands by every word of his testimony.”US military officials said that Mullen’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee has been misinterpreted, and that his remark that the Haqqani network had carried out recent truck-bomb and embassy attacks “with ISI support” was meant to imply broad assistance, but not necessarily direction by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. But Mullen seemed to take the allegation an additional step, saying that the Haqqani network “acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency,” a phrase that implies ISI involvement and control.

“This is not new,” the official said. “Can they control them like a military unit? We don’t think so. Do they encourage them? Yes. Do they provide some finance for them? Yes. Do they provide safe havens? Yes.” That nuance escaped many in Congress and even some in the Obama administration, who voiced concern that the escalation in rhetoric had inflamed anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.U.S. officials said that even evidence that has surfaced since Mullen’s testimony is open to differences in interpretation, including cellphones recovered from gunmen who were killed during the assault on the U.S. Embassy.

One official said the phones were used to make repeated calls to numbers associated with the Haqqani network, as well as presumed “ISI operatives.” But the official declined to explain the basis for that conclusion.The senior Pentagon official treated the assertion with skepticism, saying the term “operatives” covers a wide range of supposed associates of the ISI. “Does it mean the same Haqqani numbers [also found in the phones], or is it actually uniformed officers” of Pakistan’s spy service? U.S. officials said Mullen was unaware of the cellphones until after he testified. – Onlinenews