Pakistani spy chief tells 'helplessness' over US drone attack

Chief of Pakistani ISI agency has denied speculation of a secret agreement allowing the United States to attack in Pakistan with missile-firing drone aircraft.

Pakistani spy chief tells 'helplessness' over US drone attack

The chief of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has denied speculation of a secret agreement allowing the United States to attack in Pakistan with missile-firing drone aircraft, Der Spiegel reported.

"But to be honest, what can we do against the drone attacks? Should we fight the Americans or attack an Afghan post, because that's where the drones are coming from? Can we win this? Does it benefit Pakistan?"

Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha told the German magazine in an interview terrorism, not India, was Pakistan's enemy, and he said he took orders from the civilian president.

Pasha, a former chief of military operations, was appointed director-general of the military's main security agency in September, two months after the government that came to power after February elections tried to bring it under the ambit of the Interior Ministry.

The government dropped the attempt in the face of objections from the military.

But Pasha said he and the military fully supported the government, led by the party of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, replaced former army chief Pervez Musharraf as president in September.

"It is completely clear to the army chief and I that this government must succeed. Otherwise we will have a lot of problems in this country," Pasha said.

"The result would be problems in the west and east, political destabilisation and trouble with America ... Anyone who does not support this democratic government today simply does not understand the current situation."

"I report regularly to the president and take orders from him," Pasha said.

Pasha said ISI officers were allowed to hold different opinions: "But no one can dare to disobey a command or even do something that was not ordered."

Reuters
Last Mod: 07 Ocak 2009, 13:48
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