ISI chief set to discuss mutual challenges with US counterpart

No ground to be let on drone strikes.

Huma Imtiaz August 02, 2012

HOUSTON, TEXAS: Inter-services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam had a busy first day in Washington DC on Wednesday during his first official trip to the US.

Highly placed sources told The Express Tribune that the ISI chief met top Congressional leaders at a dinner at Pakistani Ambassador Sherry Rehman's residence. Staffers familiar with the matter said that the dinner guests included Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and her House counterpart and Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Deputy Director at the CIA Mike Morrell also attended the dinner.

Sources added that Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also attended the reception.
The Embassy of Pakistan and the CIA declined to comment on the ISI Chief's visit.

The spy chief was scheduled to meet his CIA counterpart Director David Petraeus and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman on Thursday.

While no details were immediately forthcoming about the mood of the meetings, a source said that the ISI leader will discuss mutual challenges and ways to go forward on joint concerns with the US. Broad strategic issues and "opportunities for ‘new beginnings’" are also to be discussed. However, there would be no compromise by Pakistan on drone strikes.

It is expected that the ISI chief will have detailed discussions on these and other intelligence matters during the meetings.