"These reports reflect nothing more than single source comments and rumors, which abound on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and are often proved wrong after deeper examination," Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, told ABC News. "The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not reflect the current on-ground realities."
Nonetheless, many of the documents do go into great detail about the ISI's connections to not only the Pakistani Taliban, but also al Qaeda. And some seem totally independent of any historic bias toward Pakistan from Afghanistan.
One document dated Christmas Eve 2006, for example, shows that NATO-led headquarters in Afghanistan believed a cell of suicide attackers was hoping to attack in Kabul. The person responsible for planning the attacks, the document says, "is an ISI member." The document goes on to detail that some of the suicide bombers would stay in the homes of the Afghan police and NDS, and concludes by specifically saying "this information must not be disseminated" to the Afghan government.
The documents seem to detail that one man in particular – Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, the former chief of the ISI – has worked tirelessly to maintain his connections to senior militant leaders after leaving the agency at the end of the Soviet-Afghan war. The documents quote intelligence sources saying Gul met with militant commanders in South Waziristan to hatch a plan to revenge a senior al Qaeda member killed by a drone strike. The plan involved sending a blue Mazda truck filled with explosives into eastern Afghanistan and sending 50 Arab and 50 Pakistani fighters into a separate eastern Afghan province.
Gul angrily denies any involvement with the insurgency, and says he has not been to South Waziristan since 1984.
"They are looking for a scapegoat. They have to pin the blame on someone for their defeat, and they are getting defeated," he told the BBC today. "I am exposing the deficiency in the generalship in Afghanistan. I am exposing the deficiency in their planning. I am exposing the deficiency in their intelligence, and it worries them lot, so they want to bash me."
Worried about the fallout from the leaks, senior members of the U.S. government briefed Pakistani officials about what to expect, according to a senior Pakistani government official, and the two capitals exchanged a "flurry of phone calls" before the release. The official said the United States wanted to ensure that Pakistan realized this was not an orchestrated leak, which might have "jeopardized improving cooperation."
Following the U.S. effort, the Pakistani foreign ministry released a statement Monday evening that was restrained, considering the anti-ISI rhetoric in the WikiLeaks documents, and pointed to Jones' earlier statement about U.S. and Pakistani cooperation.
"The Government of Pakistan has termed the documents posted on WikiLeaks as misplaced, skewed and contrary to the factual position on the ground," said the statement. "The people of Pakistan and its security forces, including the ISI, have rendered enormous sacrifices against militancy and terrorism. Our contributions have been acknowledged by the international community, in particular by the United States. As underlined by the US National Security Advisor in his statement on WikiLeaks yesterday, the ongoing counterterrorism cooperation between Pakistan and the US will continue with a view to defeating our common enemies."