US concerned about Pakistan agency ISI's links with terror groups: Kerry

Washington (PTI): The US is deeply concerned about Pakistan's spy ageny ISI's links with terrorist groups like dreaded Haqqani Network, Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

"I mean, the President, all of us, are deeply concerned about the ISI relationships, deeply concerned about the Haqqani Network's freedom to be able to have operated," Kerry told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday during a Congressional hearing.

"We have had very recent conversations with respect to that," Kerry said, adding that these things can be discussed only in a classified setting.

The issue is expected to come up for discussion during the next week's US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue in Washington.

Kerry's remarks on ISI came after Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard raised the issue of the spy agency's links with the Haqqani network.

Haqqani network, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks against Western and Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul.

Gabbard and her Congressional colleague Ted Poe had recently sent a letter to Kerry expressing their grave concerns about potential sale of military hardware to Pakistan and asking him to consider stopping it.

She said rewarding Pakistan by selling weapons to it when the country has not changed its harbouring in support of terrorists within Pakistan should not be considered.