A spokesman for the Pakistani military, Gen. Asif Ghafoor, told reporters on Thursday that the intelligence agencies have contacts with the militant groups, being part of the duties of such agencies.
“Please understand, ‘having links’, and ‘supporting’ [armed groups] are two different things,” he said.
Gen. Asif further added “Name an intelligence agency of any country that does not have links [to armed groups]. Everyone does. If you have the links to finish the threat, then that is a positive contribution.”
This is the first time the Pakistani military has publicly admitted the links between its military agency and the militant groups.
The Afghan and US officials are saying that the conflict in the country has links with the sanctuaries of the terrorist groups, particularly the Taliban and Haqqani network which have remained intact in the key cities of Pakistan.
Speaking to the US lawmakers in the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Gen. Dunford said “It is clear to that ISI has connections with the terrorist groups,” Gen. Dunford said.
This comes as the ministry of foreign affairs of the country earlier rejected the remarks by the US General Joseph Dunford.
A spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs of Pakistan Nafis Zakaria told reporters on Tursday “We have time and again rejected these allegations. Pakistan has done enough to erase the footprint of terrorism from its soil through indiscriminate counter terrorism operations against all terrorist outfits.”