Pakistan’s ISI Behind Pathankot Attack: Bruce Riedel

Security forces on high alert  at the IAF base in Pathankot
Security forces on high alert at the IAF base in Pathankot

As combing operations continued to sanitise the Pathankot Air Force base, a former White House top official Bruce Riedel has reportedly said that Pakistan’s top military-operated intelligence agency ISI was behind the deadly attack using a terrorist group it created 15 years ago.

Riedel worked in the National Security Council of the White House. He was among the few present at the Bill Clinton-Nawaz Sharif meeting in 1999 during Kargil war.

He further said that the attack is designed to prevent any detente between India and Pakistan after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent surprise Christmas Day visit to Lahore, Pakistan.

Riedel, in an article in the Daily Beast, said the attacks in Pathankot and on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan was the handiwork of Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Muhammad which the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) created 15 years ago.

For his assessment, he quoted “well-informed press and other knowledgeable sources”. Asserting that the ISI is under the generals’ command and is composed of army officers, he said the spies are controlled by the Pakistani army, which justifies its large budget and nuclear weapons program by citing the Indian menace.

“Any diminution in tensions with India might risk the army’s lock on its control of Pakistan’s national security policy. The army continues to distinguish between ‘good’ terrorists like JeM and LeT and ‘bad’ terrorists like the Pakistani Taliban, despite decades of lectures from American leaders,” he wrote.