Pakistan denies reports of rift between government, ISI

Islamabad, Oct 6 (IANS) The Pakistan government on Thursday dismissed as “not only speculative but misleading and factually incorrect” a Dawn news report on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asking the ISI to act against terrorists or face global isolation.

A spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office “has strongly rejected” the report about the deliberations in a meeting between the government and military leadership, including Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, on security issues of the country.

“It is an amalgamation of fiction and fabrication. The fact that the report itself states that none of the attributed statements were confirmed by the individuals mentioned in the story clearly makes it an example of irresponsible reporting,” the PMO spokesperson said in a Facebook post.

The influential daily had in its exlcusive front page report said that “the civilian government has informed the military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan.

The daily said that the military-led intelligence agencies were told not to interfere if civilian “law enforcement acts against militant groups that are banned or until now considered off-limits for civilian action.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has (also) directed that fresh attempts be made to conclude the Pathankot (terror strike) investigation and restart the stalled Mumbai attacks-related trials in a Rawalpindi antiterrorism court.”

The PMO spokesperson, however, dispelled the impression that there was a rift between the civilian government and the ISI.

The spokesperson said the Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were working with the state “in the best interest of the nation both at the federal and provincial levels to act against terrorists of all hue and colour without any discrimination”.

“Indeed the army’s and ISI’s role and contributions towards implementation of (anti-terror National Action Plan) NAP have been proactive and unwavering.

“It is imperative that those demanding the right to information at par with the international best practices also act in a manner which is compatible with international reporting standards.”