Ever since the Raymond Davis saga, trust deficit between the intelligence agencies of the U.S. & Pakistan has increased and reached a new low with the statement of Admiral Mullen. AP reports, "Pakistani government "sanctioned" the killing of a journalist last month, but said he could not tie the death to the country's powerful intelligence service." AP goes on to say," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the beating death of Pakistani reporter, Saleem Shahzad, and the reported abuse of other journalists is no way for a government to move ahead. He says it is a way to spiral in the wrong direction."
National Journal quotes Mullen as saying, "I have not seen anything to disabuse the report that the government knew about this."
This sweeping statement comes on the heels of The Washington Post's long-winded article on Abdul Qadeer Khan and his accusations senior military officials of being recipients of bribery. Maybe The Washington Post knows better why it decided to whip a dead donkey at this point in time?
Both the Donkey Incident & statement by Mullen within 24 hours of each other. WOW!
Mullen's statement raises some interesting questions:
Does Mullen have the authority to make this statement?
Is Mullen backing this statement with facts?
Does Mullen have the locus standi to make the statement?
Is Mullen casting aspiration and doubts on the issue? He accuses but fails to furnish the evidence. Even if he is trying to implicate ISI, by so doing indirectly, is he not implicating the civilian government as well by implying it is weak and does not control ISI? Technically, ISI not trying to be over and above the government.
Mullen follows NYT report dated July 4, 2011 stating that the Obama Administration believes Saleem Shahzad's murder to be the handiwork of Pakistan's powerful spy agency who had written scathing reports about the infiltration of militants in the country's military, according to American officials. The report goes on to say," that the disclosure of the information in itself could further aggravate the badly fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan, which worsened significantly with the American commando raid two months ago that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistan safehouse and deeply embarrassed the Pakistani government, military and intelligence hierarchy. "
Now, IF there is a feeling that the disclosure will further harm the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S., why disclose it in the first place? Making statements not backed by facts and casting aspirations on the civil, as well as on ISI, is not only damaging to the relationship but also insulting the intelligence.
Many are already saying this is a whipping game to discredit Pakistan. "Yes we have issues, we have problems; but these are being deliberately compounded by vested interests. "Certain things are being manipulated and twisted," a friend writes.
Another wrote, "Finally the cat is out of the bag. The U.S. wants to get rid of the democratic government(s) and the parliament and has sided with its old, time-tested allies. Bravo."
The accusation is accompanied by threats to cut back on military aid for Pakistan.
So will Mullen substantiate his statement with facts, or will he apologize? Will Pakistan press for an explanation?