Increase in American ISI-PhobiaJanuary 9, 2010
Allegations that ISI has ‘stepped up harassment of U.S. Embassy’ in Islamabad
Various reports in the American press (including the below excerpt from ‘Politico‘ blog) have come out blaming Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) of ‘unnecessarily harassing’ US Embassy officials in Pakistan – after a number of US diplomatic staff and Embassy employees have recently been caught engaging in illegal and anti-state activities.
Politico reports: As the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad publicly complained yesterday of the systematic harassment of U.S. officials in Pakistan, a longtime American Af-Pak hand says the Pakistani intelligence service the ISI appears to be deeply involved in the campaign.
“Seems the ISI has been putting pictures (with addresses) of houses containing [Embassy] Americans in the Urdu newspapers as a provocation,” the AfPak hand writes. “Several times recently the RSO (Regional Security officer) at the Embassy has had to contact folks in their offices during the day, and tell them that they can’t go home to their house tonight because of the unwanted attention caused by the ISI/Journalist provocations. Station and Emb have complained to ISI – but no acknowlegement (not surprising) and no abatement of the activity (worrisome).”
“The United States Embassy in Pakistan complained publicly Thursday that its staff members were being harassed and detained as they traveled around the country, a rare public protest reflecting the tensions as America expanded its presence here,” the Associated Press reports.
“American officials say they need to expand the embassy staff to help disburse $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan. But many Pakistanis believe that the United States is bringing in spies to destabilize the country and to take over its nuclear program. American diplomats have faced delays in approvals for visas and visa extensions. Some have been stopped at checkpoints.”