Pakistani, US spy chiefs’ talks ‘substantive, productive’

The first meeting between the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Zaheer Ul Islam and his Central Intelligence Agency counterpart David Petraeus has been described as “substantive, professional and productive” by a senior US official.
The visiting ISI chief held a meeting with the CIA chief at the American agency’s headquarters in suburban Washington, in an effort to bring the contentious relationship back on track.
According to a CNN report, the senior US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions, would not comment on the specifics of the meeting, but said the discussions between Islam and Petraeus “provided an opportunity to discuss a number of proposals for how we can enhance our joint efforts against terrorism”. The American official added, “Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to counter the terrorist presence in the region that threatens both US and Pakistani national security.”
The meeting between the two spymasters coincided with discussions between Pakistan’s army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Gen John Allen, the top American commander in Afghanistan, which noted significant progress in Pakistan-US relations, after the ties had been severely strained by a spate of incidents last year. Pakistani and American officials here have not commented publicly on the meeting between heads of two intelligence organizations, which previously worked closely, in the years since 9/11 attacks, to take many al-Qaeda operatives off the battlefield. The Pakistani spy chief is also meeting with other senior American officials during the three-day visit, his first since assuming charge of the powerful intelligence outfit.
The Pakistani-US relationship has improved somewhat since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized last month for the airstrike that killed the 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011. Pakistan responded by reopening the supply routes to Afghanistan that they had closed down in retaliation for the deaths, making the US and NATO allies to rely on a much more expensive and long northern supply route into landlocked Afghanistan. In the intervening seven-month period between November 2011 and July 2012, Islamabad reassessed its relationship with Washington, which were prompted by a series of American unilateral actions, particularly the US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, of which the Pakistanis had no prior knowledge, and the deaths of Pakistani soldiers operating along the Afghanistan border by US airstrikes in November. The missile strikes by CIA-operated drones against suspected terrorists in the tribal areas have also irked Pakistani officials who publicly say such actions violate country’s sovereignty and incite militancy.
In its report, the Cable News Network also cited a senior unnamed Pakistani intelligence official as saying that the ISI chief Islam was expected to urge the US to end its drone strikes and provide the Pakistanis with target information so that their forces can hit suspected terrorists. Last week, a US official told the channel the United States “supports the Pakistanis taking more responsibility for ridding the tribal areas of al Qaeda and its militant allies.” Without getting into specifics, the official had said there were actions Pakistan could take to get rid of al Qaeda and the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group, allegedly based in the Pakistani tribal border region that launches strikes against US and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Recently, cross-border incursions into Pakistani territory by anti-Pakistan militants based in Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan have also angered Islamabad. According to a report in the New York Times, the ISI chief was expected to seek American help in halting the militant attacks, which have killed more than 100 Pakistani civilians and security officials.



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3 Comments

  1. desi said:

    I think Imran Khan should answer the questions or the accusations,clear his name and then get to the questions,otherwise he is just covering up his tracks by trying to turn the tide towards the Sharifs.

  2. Shamroz khan said:

    I cant simply understad that why pakistani chief has to visit amereca ,suerly he must know that only terrorist in this area is amereca who accupying afghanistan, near future part of pakistan financial hub as well , I think we pakistani has to deal with our own traitor first

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