Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani was handed a “chargesheet” by CIA chief Michael V Hayden on Pakistani intelligence agencies’ links to militant activities and was told to “rein in the ISI” during their meeting in Washington.
“Some information in the CIA chargesheet was so damning that the Pakistanis could not deny them,” a senior official familiar with the talks told the Dawn newspaper.
Diplomatic and US sources said the allegations included in the “chargesheet” were almost identical to what The New York Times had reported on Wednesday.
The US daily had also reported about CIA Deputy Director Stephen R Kappes’ secret visit to Islamabad last month to confront Pakistan with information about the ISI’s links with militants in the northwestern tribal areas.
CIA chief Hayden, who met Gilani at a dinner on Monday, is believed to have told the Prime Minister that Pakistan will have to do something about the alleged involvement of ISI officials with militants.
Hayden also told Gilani that even a change of government in Washington would not help Pakistan as whoever occupied the White House in January would want Islamabad to “rein in the ISI”, said the senior official.
US President George W Bush too expressed “concern and some annoyance” over the leaking of information to terrorists by the ISI during his meeting with Gilani on Monday.
Bush told Gilani that Washington is reluctant to share intelligence with Islamabad because people in the ISI are passing on such information to militants.
In an interview to the Washington Times, Gilani confirmed The New York Times report that Kappes and Admiral Michael G Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Islamabad in mid-July with reports of the alleged links of some ISI officials with militants.
Asked whether he was confident that the ISI contained no pockets of Taliban sympathy, Gilani said: “I am pretty sure about it.” But he added: “We will still have to look into (the accusations)…It will be resolved.”
Kappes had presented evidence showing that members of the ISI had deepened their ties with some militant groups responsible for a surge of violence in Afghanistan.