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ISI chief Pasha snubs Holbrooke, Mullen

April 08, 2009 04:39 IST

Apparently upset with their remarks over alleged link between Inter Services Intelligence, Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the Pakistani spy agency chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha refused to meet visiting US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke and American military commander Admiral Mike Mullen.

"Islamabad carefully stage-managed this unprecedented snub by the ISI chief as a means of telegraphing its resentment over a number of issues brewing between Washington and Islamabad," Stratfor, a US think-tank, reported. This sudden display of confidence on the part of Islamabad will complicate the Obama administration's strategy on the Taliban, the think tank said on Monday.

Among the issues of resentment by ISI include, criticism from Mullen and US Central Command chief Gen David Petraeus, who said the intelligence agency was still dealing with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and the increasing US unmanned aerial vehicle strikes in the Pakistani tribal belt.

The ISI and its support base in Pakistan establishment is also upset with American strategy of treating Afghanistan and Pakistan as one theatre and the US's move to involve India in Afghanistan, Stratfor said. "The snub is also part of an emerging consensus between Pakistan's military and civilian government that Islamabad needs to increase its bargaining power with the US as an ally in the war against militant Islamists," the report said.

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