June 21st, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Pakistan rejects new U.S. accusation of leaks

Islamabad, Pakistan(CNN) - Pakistan's security forces are not tipping off militants about upcoming raids, the country's top military spokesman said Monday, adding that tribal elders are sometimes notified before the military moves into their regions.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas called allegations of leaks "part of a malicious campaign against us."

He was responding to a Sunday report in The New York Times that militants were fleeing bomb-making factories after American intelligence officials told Pakistan about them, heightening U.S. concerns that tips were leaking from Pakistani security to insurgents.

Abbas suggested Pakistan had no interest in letting information get to the targets of the raids, saying: "These are the same bomb-making facilities that are used to kill our soldiers."

But he said tribal elders are sometimes notified before security forces move into a region for an operation. The raids take place in semi-autonomous areas where the Pakistani government's control is tenuous.

Abbas said the exact location of the raids is never revealed. He did not say how much notice or detail the military gave tribal leaders, or how it ensured that they did not pass information to the targets of the raid.

Some tribal leaders are sympathetic to the Taliban. Others oppose them, and some have shifting loyalties.

A second high-ranking military official also rejected allegations by American lawmakers that Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI, has contacts with the Taliban and the Haqqani network, another militant group that sometimes works with the Taliban.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Pakistan
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