News

Loading feeds...
ISI has infiltrated US thinktanks, Pak scholar says PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chidanand Rajghatta   
Sunday, 30 June 2013 00:00

[From Times of India] WASHINGTON: A prominent anti-establishment scholar in Pakistan has caused a flutter in Washington by suggesting that the country's spy outfit Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has infiltrated thinktanks in the US capital.

Ayesha Siddiqa, a political commentator and former bureaucrat, whose expose of Pakistan's military-intelligence's stranglehold on the country was chronicled in her book 'Military Inc', shocked regional experts with a tweet on Thursday, relating how a Pakistani diplomat had confided to an American six years ago that the ISI had set up funds to infiltrate DC (Washington) thinktanks and ''finally did it.''

''The only problem with this approach is they are sending unqualified people (mostly) to compete with Indians in the US,'' Siddiqa continued, adding, ''non-PhDs'' without any publication record will not be taken seriously in the US capital. She also named Moeed Yusuf, a senior Pakistan expert at the US Institute of Peace and Arif Rafique, an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute, in her tweets.

Rafique countered her charges by initially saying, "I respect you and your work. Please don't make false insinuations about me.'' But when Siqqiqa shot back with ''False? DC humming with your name,'' he fired back with, ''Sad that an intelligent person like yourself has become a miserable conspiracy theorist. You should be ashamed of your lies.''

Siddiqa maintained that her ''only concern is if they have 2 do it then send ppl with capacity or grow ppl inside the system'' and said the ''current plan is flop.'' For thinktanks, ''the main issue is money, whoever can put down a grant gets the slot,'' she said, explaining how Pakistan was making inroads into think tanks.

There has indeed been a perceptible increase in Pakistani experts in US thinktanks and universities over the past decade, particularly after the country's association with the so-called war on terror, including its reputation as the haven for terrorists. Among the prominent Pakistani scholars in Washington DC are Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at Atlantic Council (who incidentally is the brother of former army chief Asif Nawaz Janjua) and several former Pakistani diplomats who have rotated in an out of the city.

Former Pakistan ambassadors to US such as Hussain Haqqani and Maleeha Lodhi have done stints at thinktanks, as have former generals-turned-diplomats, notably Jehangir Karamat and Mahmud Ali Durrani. Siddiqa herself served as a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University.

In 2009, Pakistanis helped raise money for a Pakistan studies ''chair'' at the University of Texas in Austin, named after a US Congressman who was a great fan and supporter of the country's role in the 1980s Afghan conflict, although he was disillusioned about the whole affair when he died in 2010.

 

Login

All site content © www.iakf.org