Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inside Pakistan's Parliament: ISI Briefing and discussion on US-Pak relations

Denying Links to Militants, Pakistan’s Spy Chief Denounces U.S. Before Parliament
By Jane Perlez, New York Times, May 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In an unusual, and apparently heated, closed-door session of Parliament, Pakistan’s spy chief issued a rousing denunciation of the United States on Friday for its raid that killed Osama bin Laden and denied that Pakistan maintained any links with militant groups, according to lawmakers.

Rather, the spy chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, blamed an intelligence failure for the presence of Bin Laden in the city of Abbottabad, where a top military academy is located and where the leader of Al Qaeda was killed in an American raid on May 2.

General Pasha said he had offered his resignation twice to the leader of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. As his presence before Parliament made clear, it was not accepted.

The two generals were called before the extraordinary 11-hour session to answer to the failures of the military and the intelligence agency that allowed a team of American commandos to enter and leave Pakistan in a stealth helicopter operation undetected.       

Unusually vibrant criticism by some politicians and the Pakistani press after the raid compelled them to try to repair the reputation of the military and the intelligence agency, which the army controls.
But after recognizing the lapse, General Pasha rallied Parliament behind him, several legislators said, with strong criticisms of the United States that elicited thumps of approval from the chamber, including leading members of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the major partner in the coalition that the Obama administration supports.

At the end of the session, the leader of the opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who has been one of the most severe critics of the military since the raid, closed ranks behind the military. The session was organized so that “a positive message should go out to the masses,” Mr. Khan said.

A resolution that was passed at the session said Pakistan would revisit its relationship with the United States “with the view to ensuring Pakistan’s national interests were fully respected.”
In that vein, Pakistan’s chief spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, will not allow the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct operations in Pakistan without the full knowledge of the ISI, General Pasha said.

For complete article, click here

Resolution condemning Abbottabad raid passed - The News
No repeat of bin Laden raid: parliament - Dawn
In-camera session: Govt asked to review relations with US - Express Tribune
ISI chief admits to intel failure, offers to resign - Times of India
Pakistan's parliament condemns U.S. raid, threatens sanctions - CNN
OBL fiasco: the buck stops with the military By Dr Mohammad Taqi - Daily Times

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