US Admiral Mike Mullen (pictured) told CNN there were "indications" that elements of Pakistani intelligence are backing al Qaeda and its allies. US President Barack Obama said earlier in the day that Pakistan was vital to anti-terrorism efforts.
AFP - There are "indications" that elements of Pakistan's intelligence service are lending support to Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, the top US military officer said on Friday.
"There are certainly indications that's the case," Admiral Mike Mullen told CNN when asked if elements of Pakistan's spy agency were backing the Al-Qaeda network and its Taliban allies.
"Fundamentally that's one of the things that has to change."
Pakistan's Inter-Services Agency (ISI) has been widely accused of refusing to sever its links with Islamist groups that date back to the Cold War and the US-backed fight against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Washington demanded Islamabad ensure ISI cut its ties to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, but there have been persistent reports that some members of the spy service remain in league with the extremist networks.
India has directly accused its neighbor's powerful military intelligence agency of involvement in last year's Mumbai attacks that killed 165 people.
Pakistan has denied the government has links to the Mumbai attackers or to Al-Qaeda and its allies.
Mullen's comments came as President Barack Obama unveiled a new US strategy for the war in Afghanistan, in which he called for Islamabad to crack down on insurgents operating inside Pakistan's borders.
Date created : 2009-03-27