'ISI Still Supports J&K Militants'
23 October 2004
The Times of India
Washington DC: There is no evidence to suggest that Pakistan has made a strategic decision to abandon militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, claims a US think tank. According to the US Institute of Peace, Kashmir-focused outfits have enjoyed the extensive and enduring patronage of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistan Army. While the study by the institute accepts that Pakistan appears to have lowered the profiles of various militant organisations and restricted their ability to raise funds, recruit personnel, and launch teams into the Indian side of Kashmir, there is still an international concern about Islamabad's continued support of militant training and operations. The concern is most apparent in the case of the United States in relation to its security interests in the region, warranting sustained pressure on Islamabad to abandon its support of proxy warfare, reports the Daily Times. General Pervez Musharraf's participation in the US-led global war on terrorism may have led to an extensive set of efforts to counter militancy within Pakistan, but these efforts are still being seen as not enough. The study further goes on to claim that most Pakistanis interviewed are of the view that al-Qaeda is not an asset to the Pakistan Army, but a source of much trouble for Pakistan's Kashmir and Afghanistan strategies. According to the research, 'Pakistan, that continues to desire meaningful engagement with the United States, will likely be motivated to continue its current efforts to calibrate the violence that emerges from militant camps.'