By Sheree Sardar
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, Jul (Reuters) - Recent reports from the New York Times criticizing the Pakistan army and its powerful intelligence agency are a "direct attack" on Pakistan's security, the army spokesman said on Saturday in an interview with Reuters.
In a wide-ranging interview, Major General Athar Abbas, the Pakistan army's chief spokesman, repeatedly criticized the Times' reporting and said it was part of a calculated plan by the United States to "weaken the state."
"This is a direct attack on our security organization and intelligence agencies," he said. "We consider ISI as a strategic intelligence organization, the first line of our defense."
"This whole reporting through media, quoting unnamed officials, anonymous sources, is part of a design to undermine the authority and the power of the organization in order to weaken the state."
(Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Kevin Liffey)