US ‘nearly completes’ troop drawdown in Pakistan

CIA chief in Pakistan; meets Gen Kayani to discuss intelligence cooperation.


Express June 11, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The US military confirmed on Friday that it had reduced the number of its personnel in Pakistan following a request from the government.


However, the statement issued by the US embassy did not give details regarding the number of military officials pulled out of the country.

“We recently received a written request from the government of Pakistan to reduce the number of US military personnel here and we have nearly completed that reduction,” said Vice Admiral Michael LeFever, US defence representative in Pakistan.

On May 25, the Pentagon had confirmed that Pakistan had notified the US in writing to cut its troops in the country and that troop reductions had begun. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan did not disclose the number of trainers currently in Pakistan but said the entire military mission comes to between 200 and 300 people while other Pakistani and US military sources in Pakistan said the component numbered around 120.

LeFever’s statement comes a day after Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani told a corps commanders meeting that military ties with the US had been reassessed in view of the joint parliamentary resolution passed last month following the Abbottabad incident. Parliament has called for a review of anti-terror cooperation with the US following the midnight unilateral raid by US Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden last month in his compound in the garrison city of Abbottabad.

CIA chief in Pakistan

The head of CIA began a crucial visit to Pakistan on Friday as part of intense efforts from the two sides to revive the intelligence cooperation.

This is Leon Panetta’s first trip to Islamabad since the Abbottabad raid.

Official sources confirmed that Panetta had one-on-one meeting with Gen Kayani to discuss issues concerning the intelligence cooperation between the CIA and ISI.

A security official, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Express Tribune that the intelligence cooperation, which had been affected due to a series of incidents in recent months, have been put back on track.

The killing of senior al-Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri in South Waziristan Agency recently in a US drone attack was the result of joint cooperation between the CIA and ISI.

Pakistani intelligence officials say they provided the tip off about the whereabouts of Kashmiri.

Leon Panetta, who would be the next US defense secretary, is also due to meet his Pakistani counterpart Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

The spy chiefs are expected to finalize details of the proposed ‘joint intelligence team’ to hunt down ‘high profile targets’ in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.

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COMMENTS (7)

Mark | 10 years ago | Reply @Aurangzeb Rao: You know nothing of America. The way I see you guys trashing it, if you were to never point out what country you were talking about, I never would have guessed you were speaking of America and I live there. Beyond that, sorry, I've heard way too many messed up theories and conspiracies lately. Truthfully, my point of view was not always this way and has changed only recently. However, I can no longer bring myself to take any of those theories seriously. All of them, including yours only confirm that you know nothing and it's really a waste of time to even debate it with your type. Your theories have no logic so, regardless of what I say, you can just make up something else that also lacks logic to explain away why you're still right and it'll go in painful circles. It's not like I can expect any better, though. Your country is going down in flames because of people who think like you do. You make up your own problems, complain about getting them fixed and because they don't even exist it's impossible to fix it. Then, instead of admitting you're wrong, You make up another ridiculous theory as to why your request isn't being met and it goes on without end. Every time I read them I think "well, it's no wonder things are getting bad. if they don't have something to be miserable about they just make it up." I dare you to go look up historic instances where your accusations have been proven rather than lashing out because of your inferiority complex. Oh, and by the way, here's something worth noting: Every country that formed their opinions in the way you do and somehow managed to get their people to believe them as fact have all died or are currently dying. In the end, I don't care. Call me a monster if you'd like to. It's quite common for perpetrators to demonize their pursuers. You're just part of the problem.
Aurangzeb Rao | 10 years ago | Reply @Mark: @Pragmatist: US is the main cause of unrest in this world. Your endless hunger for resources has made the world what it is today. It is not about Christianiti vs Islam, its oil, minerals and resources that you look out for. The champions of peace kill without discretion and mostly innocent people die, they are recognized world over as Collateral Damage. Its time that people like you start talking straight. It is the jihadis you used to break USSR, when you used them, you stabbed them in the back and now we are left with no option else but to face their wrath.
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