What They Said: Pakistan Spies Downgrade India Threat

By Vibhuti Agarwal for The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal reportedTuesday that a report from the Pakistan’s chief spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, said domestic militancy had overtaken the Indian army as the greatest threat to Pakistan’s national security. This is the first time since the ISI was founded in 1948 that the ISI has found a bigger threat than its neighbor. India Real Time presents a roundup of comments from readers and others below:

The Times of India newspaper reported Wednesday that Pakistan’s acknowledgment of its internal problems comes as the country is struggling with an image problem which may be affecting the flow of international aid to help the victims of the devastating floods there. “The unexpected downgrading of the threat perception from New Delhi and waking up to the scourge of home-grown terrorism comes even as foreign aid for the thousands affected in floods in Pakistan is yet to pick up,” wrote Chidanand Rajghatta for the Times of India.

The Hindustan Times newspaper quoted analysts saying the change of mindset makes sense. “I am not surprised that the ISI has changed its strategic thinking,” Talat Masood, a retired general and analyst on defense and security issues told the newspaper. Another analyst, Imtiaz Gul, was also quoted in the article. “The ground realities have changed and have forced allies into becoming enemies,” he said.

“At this point, the Pakistan government will say just about anything the world community wants it to,” wrote H. Jere. “After seeing the response to the aid request has been disappointing, it will agree to almost anything.”

Other readers called Pakistan’s latest admission “hogwash,” adding that it may be a trick to get more funds from the United States.

“It is sheer naiveté to consider Pakistan’s ISI and Islamic terrorists as two separate entities,” said Shri K. “ISI is the quintessence of rabid Islamic fascism and has been mercilessly exporting Islamic terror all over the world.”

Some readers said Pakistan’s admission came as a ray of hope for improving the long-estranged India-Pakistan relationship.

“I hope India take this opportunity to offer real assistance to the victims of the floods,” wrote Phillip Hwee. “It’s time for India and Pakistan to reconcile with one another. A détente is very necessary so that each of the two rivals can reallocate their resources to improve the standard of living of their respective citizens.”

David Almeida agreed, adding that “one can only hope that the military establishment in Pakistan is truly serious about abjuring terrorism, regardless of whether it is targeted at Indian or Pakistani state.”

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