WASHINGTON: Amidst growing pressure on Pakistan to act against the Haqqani Network, Pakistan ISI chief General Ahmed Shuja Pasha visited Washington DC quietly on Tuesday for a one day visit to meet with his CIA counterpart General David Petraeus.
As first reported by Washington Post, the CIA officially declined to comment on whether the meeting had taken place. However, sources said that General Pasha had met with David Petraeus, CIA officials at the CIA headquarters in Langley and separately with senior White House officials at Ambassador Husain Haqqani’s residence in Washington before leaving for Islamabad. The Post reported that the Haqqani Network was the focus of their discussions.
The meeting between the intelligence chiefs was the third high level meeting in a week to discuss the Haqqani Network and its presence in Pakistan. With US officials urging Pakistan to take action. On Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New York, where the first and last thing discussed was the Haqqani Network.
On Friday, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen met COAS General Kayani in Seville, Spain for four hours, where he reiterated his desire for Pakistan to take action against the group.
On Tuesday, Admiral Mullen had said that he had no doubt that the Haqqani Network was responsible for the attacks on the US Embassy and NATO HQ in Kabul on September 13, and the attack on US soldiers in Wardak on September 11 in Afghanistan. Admiral Mullen also said that the ISI, supporting proxies, must disengage from this part of their strategy.
US military trainings in Pakistan suspended
With calls of ‘do more’ coming from both sides among plummeting bi-lateral relations, US military, which had been training Pakistani troops, has suspended their programs upon request from the Pakistani government.
The US Department of Defence spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins told The Express Tribune that “The number of US military personnel has been reduced and training has been suspended at the request of the Government of Pakistan.”
The spokesperson further said that while personnel had been reduced, the US military will continue deployment of a small contingent to provide support and help coordinate attacks with NATO.
“We will maintain a small presence of US military to conduct security cooperation, respond to future requests for support and to preserve military-to-military ties. We will also continue to work with the Pakistan military to improve coordination with NATO forces in Afghanistan,” the statement read.