A rift has opened up between the Pakistani government and army in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.
Dawn newspaper reported there had been “clear differences in perception” when army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met President Asif Ali Zardar Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
The most visible evidence of the gulf occurred when Mr Zardari promised India the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate would visit India to help with the investigation into the attack.
By Isambard Wilkinson in Islamabad
The Telegraph (UK)
Less than 24-hours later the decision was revoked and the government announced that a more junior ISI officer would fly to India. It is now doubtful whether any official will go.
Gen Kiyani had previously pledged to weed out pro-jihadi elements and reform the agency but the u-turn revived the question of whether the ISI has really been brought to heel.
It was similar to an incident in August when Mr Gilani announced on the eve of a trip to Washington last month that the ISI had been brought under the control of the interior minister. He retracted the statement at 3am that night.
According to US and Indian intelligence officials, Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist outfit formed by the ISI in the 1990s to fight in Indian-held Kashmir, is the main suspect for carrying out the attacks.
One military official said: “Yes, there is a trust deficit on many issues and both are not showing their cards to each other.”
The distrust between the army and the government dates back to before the Bombay attacks, as the two sides have disagreed over how to conduct the “war on terror’ and reform the ISI.
Pakistan has spent half of its existence under military rule and the latest dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, resigned as president in September after spending eight years in power.
Gen Kiyani has since announced the military’s withdrawal from politics but it remains a strong influence on all major decisions ranging from foreign policy to the economy.