ISI inimical to Pak and US interests: NYT

New York: Charging ISI with being inimical to the interests of the US and Pakistan, a leading daily here has asked Washington to seek the removal of its chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and slap sanctions against its officials involved in terror activities.

"The United States needs to use its influence to hasten Mr Pasha`s departure," The New York Times said in an editorial, as American officials blamed the military-run Pakistani intelligence agency for the killing of investigative journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad.

"It (the US) should tell Pakistan`s security leadership that if Washington identifies anyone in ISI or the army as abetting terrorists, those individuals will face sanctions like travel bans or other measures."

The influential US daily added that the "ISI has become inimical to Pakistani and American interests."

The strong editorial comes a day after Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Pakistan government might have sanctioned the killing of Shahzad.

The Times in a lead story early this week had said that the Obama administration now has evidence implicating the ISI in this brutal killing.

"American officials say new intelligence indicates that senior ISI officials ordered the attack on Mr Shahzad to silence him. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed on Thursday that Pakistan`s government `sanctioned` the killing, but he did not tie it directly to ISI," it said.

The NYT said the murder will make journalists and other critics of the regime "even more reluctant to expose politically sensitive news".

"The ISI is also proving to be an increasingly dangerous counter-terrorism partner for the United States," the Times said