Oh, the delicacy

Superman, Batman and rogue elements in Pakistan’s security apparatus

A senior CIA official, we are told, traveled to Pakistan this month “to confront Pakistan’s most senior officials with new information about ties between the country’s powerful spy service and militants operating in Pakistan’s tribal areas.”

The New York Times report deals a delicate blow to the visiting Pakistani prime minister. The blow is blunt enough to connect the Pakistani establishment to the Taliban and al Qaeda, but careful enough to provide “Pakistan’s most senior officials” with an exit—for “it is unclear whether the CIA officials have concluded that contacts between the ISI and militant groups are blessed at the highest levels of Pakistan’s spy service and military, or are carried out by rogue elements of Pakistan’s security apparatus.”

Another delicacy: it reports that the CIA presented evidence of the ISI-Taliban nexus responsible for the resurgence in Taliban violance “possibly including the suicide bombing this month of the Indian Embassy in Kabul”. But also that while “Afghanistan’s government has publicly accused the ISI of having a hand in the attack”, it is an “assertion American officials have not corroborated.”

So was this trigger for last weekend’s botched attempt by Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to bring the ISI under ‘civilian control’? Possibly. In the event, the CIA official’s effort didn’t amount to much. General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has demonstrated that it is he who is in charge of the ISI and would prefer to remain so. And that delicate thing about “rogue elements” is only a crutch for those who can’t stomach the reality.

5 thoughts on “Oh, the delicacy”

  1. It is 80s redux.
    American officials presented tons of evidence to their Pakistani counterparts about it’s nuclear activities. It didn’t do any good back then.

    Looking at how much the US is dependent on Pakistan right now, its unclear to see what effect these presentations will have.

    Its almost like the friends and doctors of an alcoholic telling him constantly, “you are an alcoholic, you are an alcoholic” and the fellow has reached a stage where the addiction is beyond his control. Often, just telling someone what is wrong with him does not suffice. It is only a question of when…

    If indeed the botched attempt was all that could be triggered by the meeting, one gets an idea of how much power the elected government really wields. Personally I feel it was all a tamasha.

    Wasn’t this meeting reported by the friday times in its gup such section?

  2. Vivek: Its almost like the friends and doctors of an alcoholic telling him constantly, “you are an alcoholic, you are an alcoholic” and the fellow has reached a stage where the addiction is beyond his control.

    It’s more like catching a burglar in the act. The guy’s only sorry when he gets caught. Gotta break his hands so he cannot steal again.

    Nitin: And that delicate thing about “rogue elements” is only a crutch for those who can’t stomach the reality.

    Or are bound by misplaced political correctness. And cover stark conclusions with little fig-leafs like “rogue elements”.

  3. And as far as Superman and Batman are concerned…..? Don’t leave us hanging like that!!

  4. When those tribals hurt US, then it matters. Otherwise, let them kill each other and use their US provided ammo on the Indians, who gives a damn? Ummm this posturing has something to do with the pipeline I think, because they know exactly who’s in charge. Or they might be doing a psych-ops warning to the civilians, just lay off, and don’t attempt to control the ISI.

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