Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 31st, 2020

The Unprecedented Distrust

Analysts and US and Pakistani intelligence officials believe that US's relation with Pakistani Intelligence network has not been so bad for the last 20 years. Military occupation of Afghanistan by former Soviet Union helped strengthening ties between the United State and Pakistan's strong army intelligence. They launched the hard joint campaign against Soviet Union's presence in Afghanistan.

Since then, Pakistan's ISI has been in close relation with US's security agencies and thus has received huge military and economic aids. Pakistan experts maintain that bulk of aides have been spent on reinforcing Pakistan's intelligence power and in fight against the country's archrival, India. ISI's role in Afghanistan is easy to understand in light of above facts.

The US has counted on Pakistan's cooperation in fight against terrorism and extremism since the US-led attack on Afghanistan and ouster of extremist Taliban from power. However, the course of relations between the two countries has witnessed great vicissitudes. According to many politician and military experts, the current level of trust and cooperation between the two countries remain at the lowest ebb.

Tensions have risen over Pakistan's unwillingness to take action against Haqqani militants staying in Pakistan who fuel unrest in Afghanistan and fight against US forces here. In the bluntest statements, US officials have linked Pakistani army's intelligence network to Haqqani terrorist group.

In comments that were considered the most serious charge that the United States has leveled against Pakistan in the decade, US's top military official said Thursday that Pakistan's spy agency played a direct role in supporting the insurgents who carried out the deadly attack on the American Embassy in Kabul last week. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of t he Joint Chiefs of Staff, went further than any other American official in blaming the ISI for undermining the American effort in Afghanistan.

He said, "The Haqqani network acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency". However, Rehman Malik, Pakistan's interior minister rejected the accusations and delinked ISI with Haqqani Network and the offensive attacks carried out in Afghanistan.

Moreover, the White House urged Pakistan on Friday to break any links it has with the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani militant network and to take action to shut down their safe havens along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier. Likewise, Afghan security officials have increasingly put pressure on Pakistan to stop interferences and help the peace building process in Afghanistan.

With respect to the criticism and accusations, Pakistani government has responded with counteraccusations. Because of high level of distrust between the United State and its Pakistani ally, the process in Afghanistan has faced severe setbacks. Insecurity has extremely deteriorated and the hope for a sustainable peace is fading quickly.