ISI chief lands in Washington, talks on drone attacks expected

ISI chief Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam will meet with his CIA counterpart Gen. David Petraeus.

Huma Imtiaz August 01, 2012
ISI chief lands in Washington, talks on drone attacks expected

HOUSTON: Inter-services Intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam arrived in the US capital on Tuesday on his first official trip to Washington DC since assuming office.

A source privy to the matter told The Express Tribune that Lt. Gen Zaheerul Islam had arrived in the US Capital where he is expected to meet with CIA Director General David Petraeus. The two are due to discuss matters pertaining to counter-terrorism and intelligence.

Earlier, ISPR had announced that Lt. Gen Islam, who had replaced Lt. Gen Shuja Pasha in March, would embark on an official visit from August 1-3.

The visit comes less than 24 hours after the US and Pakistan signed an MoU to formally reopen the NATO supply routes.

New mechanism for drone attacks

One of the topics which will come under discussion are the drone strikes. Pakistan has repeated called for an end to the strikes, calling them counterproductive.

At Langley, the ISI chief is expected to push on with a new mechanism for drone attacks which would involve the US sharing actionable intelligence on targets with Pakistan.

A senior Pakistani security official had earlier told AFP that the pair would discuss counter-terror cooperation and intelligence sharing.

Talks on 'veritable arms'?

With the clamour in Washington rising on action against the Haqqani Network, who many on Capitol Hill believe still have ties with the ISI, talks are expected to cover sterner action against the network.

The US Senate approved a bill last week by voice vote which requires the US State Department to submit a report within 30 days of it being signed by President Obama, certifying whether the Haqqani Network fits the criteria to be labelled a 'Foreign Terrorist Organisation'.

Former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen in a famous quote days before he left office had termed the Miranshah based group a 'veritable arm of the ISI'. The group is also believed to be responsible for deadly attacks in Kabul earlier this year, and the Salerno base suicide bombing in June among a host of other attacks in Afghanistan.


Micheal O'Connor | 11 years ago | Reply

Pakistan was hiding Osama and thus therefore no friend to anyone in the U.S or even the Western world. Sure, you see some lip service here and there, but make no mistake, Pakistan is well and truly considered an enemy by both the people and the government. Drone attacks will not only continue, next generation UAV's are in the final stage of testing, such as the stealth capable X-47B drone.

Aftab Kenneth Wilson | 11 years ago | Reply

@Qaim Ali Shah: I am relating this visit towards democracy because all elected governments were given powers with many strings attached. As far as other core issues of every day life is concerned has been with us from the day of birth of our country due to nexus between judiciary and our sleuths. Men in uniform were given every right, even to amend the constitution. By the way who is not corrupt. Has there ever been any institution which we can boast as corruption free? Democracy must be allowed with no strings attached including any ifs and buts. Two more elections if allowed will remove most black sheep from our system.

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