On Wednesday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of having active ties with the terrorist Haqqani network. One day later, his Pakistani counterpart Gen. Parvez Kayani responded.
Kayani slammed Mullen’s allegations, insisting he was engaging in “negative propaganda.” Before taking over as the Pakistani chief of staff, Gen. Kayani was the head of the ISI, and held the position from 2004-2007.
The dueling statements underscore the increasingly tense relations between the US and Pakistan. It is particularly ironic that they are the result of Mullen’s visit, as it was supposed to improve those ties.
The relationship began to significantly worsen after the Raymond Davis scandal, which led to the revelation that the US had hundreds of CIA agents operating in Pakistan above and beyond the enormous force that was there with permission and operating in concert with the ISI. This was followed by a US drone strike which killed a number of key government allies. Pakistan has since demanded an end to all US drone strikes in the country.