Siddharth Varadarajan

Journalist | Writer | Analyst

Old habits die hard

Susanne Koelbl of Der Spiegel has a genuine international scoop, an interview with the chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency, Maj Gen. Shujaa Pasha.

The ISI chief sticks to a sober script throughout but his answer on the Taliban gives the game away. Old habits die hard, and old assets will hopefully never die:

Pasha is apparently adept at overcoming old divisions. However, it is worth listening closely when the general explains why he too is unwilling to apprehend the Taliban leadership, even though many claim that Taliban leader Mullah Omar, for example, is in Quetta, a city where Pasha lived until a few years ago. “Shouldn’t they be allowed to think and say what they please? They believe that jihad is their obligation. Isn’t that freedom of opinion?” he asks, defending extremist rabble-rousers, who are sending more and more Koran school students to Afghanistan to fight in the war there.

Koelbl states the obvious when she notes: “Such words from Pasha arouse the old suspicion that the ISI is playing a double game.”

3 comments on “Old habits die hard

  1. Anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    I have been reading a lot in the western media (< HREF="" REL="nofollow">Riedel’s articles<> ) Pak’s double game and I still fail to understand why the western forces’ hands are so tied up (forget abt. deliberate distraction in Iraq.) ? Pak is probably trying to sell US its importance of any possible foothold in Central Asia in future. I also checked Pak media to understand this problem and they seem to making a distinction between Taliban and Al-Qaeda wherein the former is still seen as a less of a evil and more in its Pashtun interest !! Maybe this is another area where the US and Pak diverge and Mushraff probably used this argument in his half-hearted war on terror for the past 6 yrs.

  2. Anonymous
    January 9, 2009

    ISI has been playing a double game for a long time.ISI is doing it with the blessings of their masters, the British and the Americans.The US lead NATO war on terror is the biggest hogwash of this century. It should not come as a surprise, if they are in league with the Chinese, to balkanize and decimate the whole region, in a grand bargain, considering that Russia is dying a natural slow demographic death. India, with its incompetent leadership, runs a high risk of being defrauded by these powers and pay a heavy price.

  3. captainjohann
    January 8, 2009

    Sir,Taliban is ISI and i cannot understand why Indian media should fail to accept this fact?

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2009 by in Pakistan, Terrorism.



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