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February 16, 2009

Keeping an eye on the ISI

By Spear's

The real issue is the extent to which the perpetrators had links to the government or its agencies.

There is now good evidence that the notorious Lushkar-e-Taiba terrorist group was responsible for the attack in Mumbai that killed 184 people in December.

The Pakistani authorities have responded by making more than 125 arrests across the country, and they have closed down the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity which acted as a front for the militants.

However, the real issue underlying what the Indians regard as a very half-hearted investigation of the terrorists’ background and connections is the extent to which the perpetrators had links to the government or its agencies.

The problem for Islamabad is that the Inter-Service Intelligence organization was encouraged to develop strong ties to the Islamic radicals who formed the Mujahadeen that, during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Those veterans became the Taliban, and their commitment to the tactics of the insurgency lie at the heart of the rpesent conflict. The ISI was later purged of personnel thought to have been rather too close to the Taliban, but in India the belief is that the ISI remains a deeply suspect organization.

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