The Haqqani terrorist network, which the U.S. blames for attacks on Americans and others in Afghanistan, acts as a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the U.S.’s top uniformed official said today.
Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that Haqqani network operatives, with support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, “planned and conducted” the Sept. 14 assault on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
“We also have credible intelligence” that the Haqqani network was behind the June 28 attacks against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul “and a host of other smaller but effective operations,” Mullen said in his likely last appearance before the panel before retiring next week.
Mullen said the Pakistan Army and ISI are using the Haqqani network as “proxies” for “hedging their bets” for when the U.S. leaves the region “or redressing what they feel is an imbalance of regional power.”
“In choosing to use violent extremist as a instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan and most especially the Army and ISI -- jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership, but also Pakistan’s opportunity to be a respected nation.”