‘Leak’ of CIA station chief’s name new rift in ISI-CIA ties | Pakistan Today

‘Leak’ of CIA station chief’s name new rift in ISI-CIA ties

Fresh tension erupted between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after several Pakistani media outlets published the alleged name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad, The Guardian newspaper reported on its website.
The report quoted two senior (Pakistani) officials as saying the name published, Mark Carlton, was incorrect, but one said it was similar to the real one. Despite the inaccuracy, publication of the name was seen as a sign of worsening relations between the two spy agencies a week after the death of Osama bin Laden, said the report.
Publication of an American spy’s name caused friction between the two agencies six months ago as well, said the report. The previous station chief, Jonathan Banks, was identified in court papers and the media in December, causing him to leave Pakistan immediately, it said, adding that some US officials blamed the ISI for the leak. This time, the name was published by the private television station ARY One on Friday, and then reprinted in a rightwing newspaper on Saturday, said The Guardian.
The newspaper said that reportedly, “Mark Carlton” was given an angry reprimand by ISI chief Lt General Shuja Pasha over the operation to kill bin Laden. The published name sounded similar to the real one, the report quoted a senior Pakistani official as saying, suggesting the leak had come from a lower-level ISI source rather than from the top. “It sounds similar. Mike can be misheard as Mark,” he was quoted as saying.
“It sounds like something someone misheard in the corridor, perhaps someone who is ideological or not very well educated.” The official declined to give the real name, and US media did not report the incorrect name, saying that the information remained classified under US law. The US official said, however, that the CIA had no plans to withdraw its top spy from Islamabad.

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