WASHINGTON, September 23, 2011 (AFP) – The US military’s top officer bluntly accused Pakistan on Thursday of “exporting” violent extremism to Afghanistan through proxies and warned of possible action to protect American troops. In a scathing and unprecedented condemnation of Pakistan, Admiral Mike Mullen said the country’s main intelligence agency ISI was actively supporting Haqqani network militants blamed for an assault on the US embassy in Kabul last week.
“The Haqqani Network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency,” Mullen told the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
A CIA asset turned Al-Qaeda ally, the Haqqani network is probably the most dangerous faction in the Afghan Taliban. In the 1980s, the United States funneled arms and cash to the Haqqani faction to counter Soviet forces.
Mullen said Haqqani militants — with ISI backing — this month carried out a truck bombing on a NATO base in Afghanistan that wounded 77 Americans; assaulted the US embassy and NATO headquarters in the Afghan capital; and in June staged an attack on the InterContinental hotel in Kabul.
The admiral’s tough language follows a series of stern warnings from top US officials on Pakista