After strained ties following the Abbottabad raid, Director of the US National Intelligence James R Clapper arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday for talks with Pakistani military officials to shore up their cooperation in the war on terror.
Clapper’s visit is part of the latest efforts from both sides to put the troubled ties between US and Pakistani intelligence services back on the track, sources told The Express Tribune.
“He is here to bridge the trust gap and repair ties,” said a senior intelligence official. “The visit reflects on how sensitive both sides are on salvaging their cooperation.”
Clapper holds a central position in the US war on terror machinery, serving as principal advisor to the president and overseeing and directing the national intelligence programme.
Sources said Clapper might meet military chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and head of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
The visit came soon after Pasha’s one-day trip to Washington last week during which he reportedly told his counterpart in the CIA that Pakistan would continue dismantling “private networks” of local spies that the Americans had created over the past decade.
But sources said Americans wanted the ISI not to touch its local associates and were pushing Pakistan to intensify intelligence cooperation as well.
A series of meetings between intelligence officials from both sides have been focusing on this issue over the past couple of weeks.
Clapper is also expected to raise this matter during his interaction with the Pakistani intelligence community.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2011.
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