Pakistan Condemns US Comments About Spy Agency

Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 7:14 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has described the U.S. relationship with Pakistan as fraught with difficulty. He spoke a day after the top U.S. military commander accused Islamabad of supporting extremist groups attacking American troops in Afghanistan.

Of the U.S., Gilani said Friday, “they can't live with us. They can't live without us.”

Gilani is the latest Pakistani official to lash out at the U.S. following the comments Thursday by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the U.S. could not afford to alienate Pakistan. She said to do so would be at “the cost” of the U.S. Khar's remarks were broadcast Friday in Pakistan.

Mullen told a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network, acting with support from Pakistan's spy agency, planned and conducted the assault last week on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

He said the ISI also supported the truck-bomb attack by Haqqani insurgents on a NATO base in the central Afghan province of Wardak on September 10 that wounded 77 U.S. soldiers.

Mullen said Pakistan's ISI uses the Haqqani network as a “veritable arm” to act in Afghanistan against Afghan and coalition forces and expressed concern about the impunity with which extremist groups are allowed to operate from Pakistan.

Pakistan's Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan told VOA that Pakistan is working for peace in Afghanistan, and that what she called “propaganda” accusing Pakistan of helping militants is meant to sabotage Islamabad's efforts.