ISI chief lands in Washington, talks on drone attacks expected

Published: August 1, 2012
 ISI chief Zaheer-ul-Islam has traveled to the US for talks with CIA Director Gen David Petraeus. PHOTO: FILE

ISI chief Zaheer-ul-Islam has traveled to the US for talks with CIA Director Gen David Petraeus. PHOTO: FILE

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.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • syed Imran
    Aug 1, 2012 - 8:56AM

    Just a leisure trip, what the US says will prevail, so no expectations.The Drones will continue


  • Jibran
    Aug 1, 2012 - 9:50AM

    Just a drama! The army already signed the deal. What is he there for, other than to add cost to the national exchequer. Why is he staying in $1000 a night hotel?


  • Mard-e-Haq
    Aug 1, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Money will change hands, I am sure.


  • Syed Hamza Rasool
    Aug 1, 2012 - 11:17AM

    Salam… Cheaf should also demand of Dr. Afia Sadiqui


  • Janu German
    Aug 1, 2012 - 11:35AM

    We Pakistani’s in Germany are curious about the changing geo-political scenario in the region. Conditions of Economy and well wishers of Army are moving towards another Military ruled government before elections.(with an imported Prime Minister).


  • Ikra
    Aug 1, 2012 - 11:38AM

    Every other day someone is planning international trip and spending huge amount of money. Countries who want to prosper minimize their so called international trips.


  • Qaim Ali Shah
    Aug 1, 2012 - 12:09PM

    Islam in America :)


  • Ali
    Aug 1, 2012 - 12:38PM

    Army ran the country much better than these politicians (including nawaz). Before 2007, there was no load shedding, economy was growing, industry was running, and jobs were available. Its better if army takes over again and send zardari and nawaz to their respective foreign destinations. Constitution & SC is being violated anyways by current rulers, so let it be violated by armed forces for better of people.


  • antony
    Aug 1, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Hope the meeting goes well ! … Otherwise on return journey the drones might target the visitor’s plane!


  • Bangroo
    Aug 1, 2012 - 1:13PM

    As the old saying goes “Beggars can’t be choosers”

    $1.1 Billion released in aid last night won’t be heavy on their conscience…. but their tongues for sure.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Aug 1, 2012 - 1:29PM

    This trip is about more Begging for resources, than about Drones or any other issues.
    Pakistan is well aware that There is never going to be intel sharing in future from US side, as they have been let down on numourous occasions in the past by certain elements within Pak intelligence.


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Aug 1, 2012 - 1:34PM

    Will he be able to convince the US government to STOP the drone attacks on Pakistan which are killing more innocent people than the militants.


  • Aug 1, 2012 - 3:07PM

    Relations between the US and Pakistan have been fragile in recent months. But now ties are beginning to improve, as the chief of Pakistan’s intelligence service visits Washington.
    watch this video :O


  • Polpot
    Aug 1, 2012 - 4:09PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:”Will he be able to convince the US government to STOP the drone attacks on Pakistan which are killing more innocent people than the militants.”
    So when Pakistan gets transferred the drone technology the drones will suddenly stop killing more innocent people than militants?


  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Aug 1, 2012 - 4:53PM

    @Qaim Ali Shah: Islam has gone to USA with a return ticket back to Islamabad so don’t worry. We should show respect to our Lt. Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam. I hope this trip will be good for our already fragile democracy.


  • Qaim Ali Shah
    Aug 1, 2012 - 9:49PM

    @Aftab Kenneth Wilson:
    Brother i just cracked a joke as america is afraid of islam n muslims… secondly you are relating
    democracy in pakistan with this visit , how could you relate this ? poor law in order , power breakdown , economy failure all are to b handled by the elected government in the first place . but we are unlucky as we are being governed by the most corrupts yeah i am talking about PPP.Recommend

  • andy fr dc
    Aug 1, 2012 - 10:30PM

    It always amazes me how little understanding the Pak elite have of the world.
    Pakistan is an enemy of the United States by it’s own actions, a fact of which we in the US are very much aware.The idea that a man representing the ISI thinks there is any possibility of getting the USA to trust Pakistan is a first order delusion. In another 2 years he will not even be permitted entry into the USA. Yet he seems to understand none of this. Why ?Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Aug 2, 2012 - 12:07AM

    @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.


  • Micheal O'Connor
    Aug 2, 2012 - 4:10AM

    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.


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