Pakistan India Embassy bombings
Rahmat Gul/AP
Indian Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan

Pakistan Struggles with Intelligence Services amid U.S. Accusations

August 04, 2008 02:16 PM
by Josh Katz
Pakistan has denied reports that members of its intelligence services helped orchestrate the July 7 Indian Embassy bombings in Kabul, but the country acknowledges rogue elements.

30-Second Summary

On August 1, the United States accused Pakistan’s Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, of assisting the insurgents who implemented the July 7 attack. In the attack, a suicide bomber killed 41 people and injured about 150 by the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Intelligence officials in the U.S. reputedly intercepted communications between members of the ISI and militants in regard to the bombing.

Pakistani foreign ministry spokesperson, Muhammad Sadiqsaid, said, “The foreign newspapers keep writing such things against ISI, and we reject these allegations.”

However, Pakistan made the unprecedented acknowledgment that there are rogue members of the ISI who are supporting the Taliban and insurgent activity, according to The Telegraph. Sherry Rehman, a Pakistani government spokesperson, said authorities “need to identify these people and weed them out.”

The United States, NATO and India have pointed to the ISI’s involvement in the activities of insurgents before, but this is the first time the United States has brought forth evidence.

With a new Pakistani government in power, the country is experiencing a power struggle between the civilian government and the ISI, which has been called a “state within a state.” When Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani visited the United States last weekend, the government had said it had taken control of the Intelligence Bureau and Inter-Services Intelligence, but quickly reversed that decision because of military influence.

Both Robert Kaplan of The Atlantic and Robert Dreyfuss of The Nation stress the importance of fostering the relationship between India and Pakistan to any U.S. and NATO success in the region.

Headline Links: Pakistan’s ISI linked to Indian Embassy bombing

Background: July Embassy Bombing; Karzai threatens to attack militants in Pakistan

Opinion & Analysis: Pakistan’s ISI and tensions in the region

The India–Pakistan relationship

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