Asserting that the ISI has become inimical to the interests of the US and Pakistan, The New York Times has asked Washington to seek the removal of Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha as its chief and slap sanctions against its officials involved in terror activities.
“The United States needs to use its influence to hasten Mr. Pasha’s departure,” The New York Times said in its editorial Published on Friday 8, July 2011.
“It should tell Pakistan’s security leadership that if Washington identifies anyone in ISI or the army as abetting terrorists, those individuals will face sanctions like travel bans or other measures. The ISI has become inimical to Pakistani and American interests,” the influential American daily underlined.
The strong editorial comes a day after Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the Pakistan government might have sanctioned the killing of the noted Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad.
The Times in a lead story early this week had said that the Obama administration now has evidence implicating the ISI in this brutal killing.
“American officials say new intelligence indicates that senior ISI officials ordered the attack on Mr. Shahzad to silence him.”
“That can start by insisting on the retirement of Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI chief, and the appointment of a more credible successor,” the newspaper said in a second editorial on the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad.
The editorial said: “Now the Obama administration has evidence implicating the ISI in this brutal killing.” According to The Times’s Jane Perlez and Eric Schmitt, American officials say new intelligence indicates that senior ISI officials ordered the attack on Mr Shahzad to silence him.
The NYT said the murder will make journalists and other critics of the regime “even more reluctant to expose politically sensitive news”.
“The ISI is also proving to be an increasingly dangerous counterterrorism partner for the United States,” the Times said.
The Times also said:
“It’s not clear how high up the culpability for Mr. Shahzad’s murder goes — or whether there are any officials left in the ISI or the army who have the power and desire to reform the spy agency. President Asif Ali Zardari and his government, while not implicated in these heinous acts, have been a disappointment, largely letting the military go its own way. They need to find Mr. Shahzad’s murderers and hold them accountable. And they must find the courage to assert civilian control over security services that have too much power and are running amok. Mr. Zardari needs to speak out firmly against abuses, insist on adherence to the rule of law and join his political rival, Nawaz Sharif, in pressing the security services to change. That can start by insisting on the retirement of Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI chief, and the appointment of a more credible successor.”