Pakistan’s military on Thursday admitted that its Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has links to “militants”, saying this does not mean it supports terrorist organisations, while also asserting that Milli Muslim League — the political wing of banned Jamaat-ud Dawa — is free to contest elections.
Milli Muslim League, which draws support from Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s JUD, was denied permission months ago from contesting bypolls by the Election Commission, which has so far refused to recognize it as apolitical par
Answering a question about US claims of links between the ISI and militants, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, director general Inter-Services Public Relations, said, “There’s a difference between support and having links. Name any intelligence agency which does not have links. Links can be positive, and the US defence secretary James Mattis did not say+ there was support. The narrative that I talked about is relevant here as well. We should not be a part of it. We have our own narrative.”
Mattis had said on Tuesday that the US would try “one more time” to work with Pakistan in Afghanistan before President Donald Trump would turn to options to address+ Islamabad’s alleged support for militant groups.