Pakistani Ambassador Rejects Leaked Information
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Unflattering and untrue, says Ambassador Haqqani, who joins us now. Welcome to the program.
HUSAIN HAQQANI: Pleasure being here, Robert.
SIEGEL: Is it your position that it's just not true, or it might be true, but Hamid Gul is not acting on behalf of Pakistan?
HAQQANI: General Hamid...
SIEGEL: But let's say that were true.
HAQQANI: General Hamid - hold on. Hold on. General Hamid Gul has not had a government position or an official position since 1990. So I mean to suggest that he is somehow conducting something, it's like finding somebody sort of way back from the 1980s from the CIA and saying current CIA operations are being run that person. That said...
HAQQANI: That said, whatever these who hires about, is about history and that I will leave to historians. What I do know is that for the last two years, Pakistan has been working with the American side in trying to change things on the ground in a very difficult region of the world.
SIEGEL: But the Hamid Gul meeting was in January of last year. But I just want to be clear on this. If he were doing such a thing, if he were involved with the Taliban and doing something on his own, would he be in violation of Pakistani law?
SIEGEL: Would he be in jeopardy of being arrested?
HAQQANI: The truth is, let people go in there today and find out what is happening on ground now.
SIEGEL: Let me put to you another document. This one is from May 2007, it...
HAQQANI: No, I'm not going to address individual documents, Robert...
SIEGEL: Well, it says the ISI...
HAQQANI: ...because, first of all, I am not going to address individual documents for one very simple reason. I do not think that the very nature of these documents is something that should be addressed by either the U.S. or the Pakistani government. We have dealt with them as and when these documents were written.
SIEGEL: Well, since you...
HAQQANI: These are situation reports...
SIEGEL: Ambassador Haqqani, since you've been insistent on what has happened most recently, is a document that alleges that a thousand motorcycles are dispatched for suicide attacks in May 2007...
HAQQANI: And what is the nature of the document? Please read the document from the top. My point is you are constantly refusing to see the nature of the document. The nature...
SIEGEL: No, I'm asking you about it, to comment on it.
HAQQANI: Then, of course, the U.S. military checks those facts, finds out later. So if you can read to me a document which says that the U.S. military established for a fact that 1,000 people were trained in suicide bombing, then I will address that.
SIEGEL: There was motorcycles, not people. But...
HAQQANI: One thousand motorcycles is a lot of motorcycles. One thousand suicide bombers is a lot of suicide bombers.
SIEGEL: Just want to ask you about what Senator Reed, Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, who visited Pakistan this month said. He said: The burden of proof is on the government of Pakistan and the ISI to show that they don't have ongoing contacts with the Taliban. Do you accept that burden? Is that fair or unfair?
HAQQANI: As far as we are concerned, we consider ourselves allies the United States. We have been working together. We have lost more men in this battle in the last two years than any other country.
SIEGEL: Ambassador Haqqani, thank you very much for talking with us today.
HAQQANI: Pleasure talking to you as always, Robert.
SIEGEL: Husain Haqqani, who is Pakistan's ambassador to the United States.
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