Relations with the US : ISI seeks ‘visibility’ of covert CIA operatives

Published: April 13, 2011
The current talks between the CIA and ISI have come in the wake of a period of non-communication between the two agencies. PHOTO: FILE

The current talks between the CIA and ISI have come in the wake of a period of non-communication between the two agencies. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan has temporarily stopped cooperating with US intelligence officials in the aftermath of the detention of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who fatally shot two of its citizens earlier this year, Cable News Network (CNN) reported late Tuesday.

Quoting an unnamed security official, CNN said that Islamabad had put on hold joint operations. The official said however that the two countries would continue to share vital intelligence about any imminent acts of terrorism.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has asked the Central Intelligence Agency to “give it visibility” over what the official says are an estimated 40 covert American intelligence operatives working in his country.

One US official referred to Pakistan as “playing public negotiations versus private negotiations game,” but the official said it is a “challenging situation,” and the two nations are “working through differences.” “The bottom line is that joint cooperation is essential to the security of the two nations. The stakes are too high,” said the official.

A US official said, “Pakistan has asked for certain things and we’re working it out,” but he would not elaborate.

The Pakistani security official said the presence of undisclosed  CIA officers “amounts to a lack of trust and respect that makes our job very difficult. After incidents like this we do have to take a pause — is it that we are not being trusted? If we cannot be trusted to fight this war on terror on our own turf, then who can?”

The freezing of cooperation between the two countries was not something the two countries wanted to sustain indefinitely, the official said. “It will also not affect drone strikes,” he said.

“We want to go back to working with them. We have to work together with trust and respect,” the official said.

A US official acknowledged that Pakistan has requested that a number of American personnel leave the country, but said a New York Times report indicating 335 CIA and American special forces have been asked to depart is a “very inflated number.”

However, the Pakistani official said that to his knowledge, Islamabad had not asked that any American officials leave.

“There have been incidents in which Americans have left on their own accord, and contractors may also have left,” that source said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Apr 13, 2011 - 9:53AM

    Stand your ground and be not afraid. God helps to face adversity when the cause is right. This has been proven from time immemorial.

    Also ET can you monitor and moderate Indians using abusive and derisory language. Give Pakistani’s a chance to vent their feelings. Indians in hundreds get onto to Western websites everyday to make erroneas charges and ethnicly biased statements against all things Pakistani. You can’t do that on Indian websites. This drives people away from having a healthy debate. Recommend

  • khurram
    Apr 13, 2011 - 10:58AM

    If we look this matter in broader scenario, we can dig out few conclusions:-
    Firstly americans are losing war in afghanistan and they want some one to be blamed for face saving, and there ae political motives of Obama Administration behind that as well.
    Secondly america already has an ally i.e India , what we call it cheap ally as compared to pakistan, to counter the complete region and americans has extended tremendous support to indian to increase their influnce in afghanistan
    Thirdly most important thing is prized atomic power which pakistan posses, They want to rip off this facility from Pakistan. this is not new thing, they started working when atomic explosion took place and was named as islamic bombRecommend

  • maynotmatter
    Apr 13, 2011 - 11:36AM

    @khurram @billoo
    God bless the human civilization if you ever have to become a politician.Your analysis and perception of world politics is so naive and ignorant at the best. America is no one’s ally like China. When a country becomes very powerful, everybody else are just “strategic” assets. These powerful nations call these assets as “allies” or “all weather” friend. When there is a friction of interest, those allies becomes liabilities and gradually enemies. Then this powerful countries use their grip hold on UN to declare war on terror or war in name of democracy on those once “strategic asset” now foe country. And ironically the history repeats. It repeats more for a weaker nation blinded by a very narrow interest. It is upon the lesser powerful countries to decide if they want to be just an asset to a country ? Now you can take my comment as an Indian trying to show down a Pakistani. Or you can utterly disregard the nationalistic element in my discussion and just focus on this point, that it does not matter what others will say to you or your country or me and my country. Unless and until we understand our weaknesses and fix them, we will continue to be just a strategic assets. Think about this, India and Pakistan have much more common than their “supposed” allies. Then why is it that we are such a bitter foe. Before you jump into writing about our history about which I will take a liberty to presume will come from the teachings of your text book, I would request you my brother to keep aside history knowledge from our text books and try to take an unbiased learning of the chain events from before partition till now. Pay more attention to outside influences. Also pay attention to intentions of the partition. If you ever successfully give it an un prejudiced look or better if you can look at it outside the indo-pak prism you will end up feeling how absurd our history is and how irrational is the logic that India and Pakistan are still enemies. Adventurism of few have led to a forever blood bath between people of same origins. I just helplessly hope for a miracle which will dissolve our physical and mental barrier and we start living peacefully.
    Peace to India and Pakistan Recommend

  • Syed Haider
    Apr 13, 2011 - 3:14PM

    We knew very well that drone strikes wouldn’t completely come to a halt, but I believe the ISI Chief’s meeting in the US was to accomplish the following things:

    Reduce the number of drone strikes
    Limit/decrease the area in which the drone strikes are taking place (the US had been expanding the area of attack, which the Pakistani military did not like)
    Share intelligence with Pakistan on the locations for future drone strikes (which they haven’t done for a long time)
    Reduce the number of CIA operatives in Pakistan

    I believe the trip from the ISI chief to the US is indicative of the ‘power struggle’ between the ISI & CIA, & reflects on the ISI trying to gain the upper hand over the CIA. I think it is very clear from recent events that the ISI believes that objectives America has for the region are clearly not in the interests of Pakistan’s long term stability.Recommend

  • bvindh
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:41AM

    Visibility to ISI = Visibility for TalibanRecommend

  • bvindh
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:42AM

    @Billoo Bhaya:

    “Indians in hundreds get onto to Western websites everyday to make erroneas charges and ethnicly biased statements against all things Pakistani. You can’t do that on Indian websites. This drives people away from having a healthy debate.”

    –Dear Sir, aren’t your statements “abusive and derisory”?Recommend

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