US allegation delays joint intel teams’ formation | Pakistan Today

US allegation delays joint intel teams’ formation

The American allegations against Pakistan of tipping off Taliban militants before imminent military raids have delayed the formation of the Pak-US joint intelligence teams for action against the terrorists.
Pakistan and the US agreed during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Islamabad last month that the two countries would set up joint teams of intelligence operatives to track down al Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants on Pakistan soil. However, allegations from the US that someone in the Pakistani intelligence apparatus had tipped off militants at four bomb-making sites in Waziristan, allowing them to escape before subsequent raids by Pakistan Army, led to deep anger among the security circles in Islamabad.
“Pakistan has put on hold the issuance of visas to American intelligence operatives to be included in the joint teams… and hence the formation of these important bodies has also been delayed,” said a diplomatic source here, requesting anonymity. “The joint teams’ formation would be carried out now only after the Americans stop blaming Pakistan and for that the authorities in Islamabad need a firm assurance from Washington,” he said.
He said Pakistani authorities believed that if the Americans were serious in increasing intelligence sharing with Islamabad, they should first start treating Pakistan as a trustworthy ally instead of maligning it.According to US officials quoted by American newspapers in recent days, the US monitored the area with satellite and unmanned drones to see what would happen after the administration shared information about the sites with Pakistani officials.
“In each case, within a day or so after sharing the information, they (Americans) watched the militants depart, taking any weapons or bomb-making materials with them, just as militants had done the first two times. Only then did they watch the Pakistani military visit each site, when the terror suspects and their wares were long gone,” an official in Washington said, according to a US media report.
The source here said that US officials believed that the lower-ranking Pakistani intelligence officials could be providing information to the militants before the likely raids. “However, Pakistani authorities have rubbished these allegations and warned the US authorities that it could harm the plans of both countries to hunt down the militants,” said the source.

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