Pakistanis question validity, timing, of Wikileaks files
July 27, 2010 1 Comment
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Senior Pakistani government and intelligence officials have reacted angrily to leaked reports, which suggest that Pakistani spy agencies are secretly working with the Taliban to oppose US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. The accusations have emerged as part of the largest document leak in US military history, which was made public on Sunday by anti-secrecy activist website Wikileaks. Among the nearly 92,000 intelligence and military files disclosed by Wikileaks are several reports suggesting that General Hamid Gul, who headed Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate in the late 1980s, is among a number of high-profile Pakistanis who regularly help the Taliban organize strikes against US-led coalition troops and their supporters in Afghanistan. But on Monday General Gul, who is a well-known critic of the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, vehemently rejected the leaked reports, calling them “a pack of lies” and “utterly wrong”. His strongly worded dismissal was echoed by several Pakistani diplomats and intelligence officials, among them Mohammad Sadiq, the Pakistani government’s senior envoy to Afghanistan. Ambassador Sadiq questioned the very validity of the leaked documents, and even suggested that their release may have been part of carefully “timed [...] official leak policy”, presumably by the White House. Anonymous Pakistani intelligence officials also dismissed the reports, some making direct links between the 2003 Iraq weapons of mass destruction intelligence fiasco and the quality of current US intelligence collection in Afghanistan. One unnamed senior intelligence official in Islamabad told The Washington Post that the Wikileaks reports were of no concern to the ISI, and that he and his officers would “continue to do what we are doing. It is our war that we are fighting. If the Americans don’t think they can support us, sorry. Tough luck”, the official concluded.