Either with us or against us', US told Pak after 9/11 attacks

Either with us or against us', US told Pak after 9/11 attacks

A day after al-Qaeda terrorist struck the twin towers in New York with hijacked planes killing nearly 3,000 people, a top US official told Mahmoud Ahmed, the then chief of the Pakistani spy agency ISI, that Islamabad has no "maneuvering choice" but to decide "either be with us or against us".

Two days later the then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was handed out a long list of demands, including blanket overflight and landing rights and cutoff all shipments of fuel to the Taliban, according to latest set of declassified documents released by the National Security Archive today on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

One of these documents shows the communication between US and ISI officials in which US insists that Islamabad choose between the US or the Taliban: "This was a black-and-white choice, with no grey."

The day after the 9/11 attacks, the then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage met with Ahmed, the documents says, adding that the US official presented a "stark choice" in a 15-minute meeting.

"Pakistan must either stand with the United States in its fight against terrorism or stand against us. There was no maneuvering room."

Mahmud assures Armitage that the US "could count on Pakistan's 'unqualified support,' that Islamabad would do whatever was required of it by the US".

Armitage adamantly denies Pakistan has the option of a middle road between supporting the Taliban and the US, "this was a black-and-white choice, with no grey."

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