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ISI maintains link with militants, says Musharraf

June 08, 2009 15:24 IST
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Former Pakistan President General Parvez Musharraf has conceded that his country's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) maintains link with militant commanders like Sirajuddin Haqqani, suspected of having masterminded the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul.

Musharraf said that ISI had "used Haqqani's influence" to get Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan, who was kidnapped by Tehrik-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, released.

Haqqani, "is the man who has influence over Baitullah Mehsud, a dangerous terrorist, the fiercest commander in South Waziristan and the murderer of Benzir Bhutto, as we know today," Musharraf told Der Spiegel in an interview.

"Mehsud kidnapped our Ambassador in Kabul and our intelligence used Haqqani's influence to get him released. Now that does not mean that Haqqani is supported by us. The intelligence service is using certain enemies against other enemies.

And it is better to tackle them one by one than making them all enemies," he said. On US media reports that ISI had systematically supported Taliban, the former Pakistan President said, "Intelligence always has access to other network -- that is what Americans did with KGB, that is what ISI also does."

Sirajuddin Haqqani is the son of renowned Mujaheedin commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is now one of the foremost commanders of Afghan Taliban. Haqqani brothers have been accused of masterminding the attack on Indian embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008.

Musharraf in the course of his interview accused the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, of interfering in Swat valley and also of arming and financing Baluch rebels.

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