Wary of Pakistan, US has stepped up surveillance: Report

Published: September 3, 2013
The United States has intensified surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

The United States has intensified surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

WASHINGTON: While US intelligence agencies spend billions monitoring enemies like al Qaeda and Iran, they pay just as much as attention to ally Pakistan, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The United States has intensified surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, is concerned about biological and chemical arms sites there and tries to evaluate the loyalty of Pakistani counter terrorism agents recruited by the CIA, the Post said.

It quoted a 178 page summary of what it called the US intelligence community’s “black budget” and said the documents were provided by fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

The paper said the documents reveal broad new levels of mistrust in an already fragile security partnership.

And US efforts to gather intelligence on Pakistan are more extensive than previously disclosed by US officials, the paper said.

America has delivered nearly $26 billion in aid to Pakistan over the past 12 years, with the money aimed at stabilising the country and ensuring its cooperation in counterterrorism efforts, according to the paper.

But now that Osama bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is weaker, US spy agencies appear to be shifting their attention to dangers that have surfaced outside Pakistani areas patrolled by CIA drones.

“If the Americans are expanding their surveillance capabilities, it can only mean one thing,” said Husain Haqqani, who served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US until 2011. “The mistrust now exceeds the trust.”

On other issues, the Post said other classified documents provided to it by Snowden reveal new allegations of human rights abuses in Pakistan.

US spy agencies reported that senior Pakistani military and intelligence officials knew of and possibly ordered a broad campaign of extrajudicial killings of militants and other adversaries, the Post said.

These reports were based on communications intercepts from 2010 to 2012 and other intelligence.

Public disclosure of the reports could have forced the administration of President Barack Obama to sever aid to the Pakistani armed forces. This is because of a US law that prohibits military assistance to human rights abusers.

But the Post said the documents indicate that administration officials decided not to press the issue so as to preserve an already frayed relationship with Pakistan.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council said the United States is “committed to a long-term partnership with Pakistan, and we remain fully engaged in building a relationship that is based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”

“We have an ongoing strategic dialogue that addresses in a realistic fashion many of the key issues between us, from border management to counterterrorism, from nuclear security to promoting trade and investment,” said the spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden.

“The United States and Pakistan share a strategic interest in combating the challenging security issues in Pakistan, and we continue to work closely with Pakistan’s professional and dedicated security forces to do so.”

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Mr ZoZo
    Sep 3, 2013 - 12:53PM

    This country is destined for doom and gloom at the hands of its own politicians and not the west. When someone does stupid things then the other takes advantage. Apparently people in Pakistan can be bought at a fairly low price , so whose fault is that.


  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Sep 3, 2013 - 1:05PM

    “The mistrust now exceeds the trust.”Take a number and stand in line. List covers most Alpha bets: A for Afghanistan, I for India, Israel, Iran, R for Russia, U for USA, Ukraine. Reputation is catching up.


  • Iqbal
    Sep 3, 2013 - 1:05PM

    When you are under the scanner of the most powerful country in the world, it only means one thinng. This is the beginning of the end of the Land of the Pure.
    Lets pack up and go. But go where?


  • ironMan!
    Sep 3, 2013 - 1:19PM

    Mr.Zozo: youre funny. Everything’s wrong with Pakistan, and no one has problem with US surveillance. Cut the crap, pls!


  • Sadia Chaudhry
    Sep 3, 2013 - 1:28PM

    Pakistan should take a lesson from all this mess which USA made. USA being super can do anything but Pakistan is also an independent state, one of the majors reasons behind instability in Pakistan is foreign intervention. USA is not a reliable state not an ally. It always go for its national interest. What a mutual interest is it doesnt know.


  • Shadhu
    Sep 3, 2013 - 1:56PM

    . International community must take action against US illegitimate acts. US breaches international rules and regulations and must be trailed for such acts.


  • salman
    Sep 3, 2013 - 2:49PM

    thanks for letting us know


  • RizwanKhan
    Sep 3, 2013 - 3:00PM

    Relax. Dont make hasty decision. Why so chicken out? USA has always failed in all if its War mongering acts. USA is a cry wolf. This world was screaming out 15 yrs back that Pakistan wont be on world map by 2010 and now you can witness yourself in 2013.

    This nation aint that weak. No one cant do nothing as long as we dont eat our bones out ourselves.


  • Sam
    Sep 3, 2013 - 3:12PM

    Pakistan National Command Authority has developed proper security divisions which have more than 20,000 trained manpower and soldiers, which are fully equipped and far superior to the terrorist. The report it self declares that there is no information about Pakistan’s nuclear safety and security because it has the most efficient system, which is hard to penetrate. This shows the competency of Pakistan’s intelligence perfection and failure of US intelligence.


  • Pasanni..
    Sep 3, 2013 - 3:58PM

    @Shadhu: “International community must take action against US illegitimate acts”.
    …. joke of the Century


  • Umer
    Sep 3, 2013 - 4:00PM

    America is just looking for a reason to attack Pakistan and try to strip it of its nuclear asset…bring it on America we will give u a war u wont forget!


  • LalaGee
    Sep 3, 2013 - 4:14PM

    Today or tommorow ……dooms day will come for pakistan also…just like a-stan,iraq,syria,lebanon etc..


  • syed baqar ahsan
    Sep 3, 2013 - 4:22PM

    Our nuclear is the real self created pain for the USA/India so every time they come up with new self conceived worry.


  • Khan-From-Peshawer
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:00PM

    @Iqbal: You must be from our beloved neighbor country pretending to be a Pakistani. We Pakistanies want peace but if the war imposed on us then the whole world knows that how brave we are.


  • syed baqar ahsan
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:25PM

    after every three months washington post print same story or create alarm as a habit what you and me can say about this smallness of big paper-good for them


  • Karolin
    Sep 3, 2013 - 6:20PM

    Britain, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand had established a joint intelligence gathering system called Echelon back in 2000. Major purpose of this system was to examine keywords in faxes, telexes and emails. There were robust doubts in Europe that Echelon was being used to benefit American companies contest against those based in Europe.It is not identified what connection there may be amid PRISM and Echelon, but it is plausible to accept that PRISM is an extension of Echelon. If so, it increases the likelihood that PRISM has an economic component and is not limited to antiterrorism efforts. So Pakistan has to be vigilant because it is dealing with Iran and China on economic grounds by Gas Pipe Line and GawadarPort respectively. Thus Pakistan has to record her objection on every legitimate and international forum regarding this scam.


  • unbelievable
    Sep 3, 2013 - 8:37PM

    Duplicitous behavior has consequences. Don’t take it personally – the USA isn’t the only country that doesn’t trust you.


  • Eric Kumar
    Sep 3, 2013 - 10:17PM

    @Sam: My dear you seems to be very naive. You think Americans will attack from ground. They easily took OBL while whole Pakistan was sleeping. They took away OBL right under from your bed you folks were sleeping. All they will throw bunker piercing bombs. that,s it.Sir.


  • neil
    Sep 4, 2013 - 12:19AM

    @ Khan from Peshawar – How brave you are ? …lmao..when a country gets bombed day in and out i.e drones …U r neither strong, nor independant i.e IMF owns you ..no IMF loan and Pak will default. Atleast when you comment , be a little realistic , just a little . THx and Thx again for the morning laugh ….


  • RHS
    Sep 4, 2013 - 2:23AM

    Umer, this is no time to be foolish….


  • np
    Sep 4, 2013 - 2:46AM

    @Umer: “America is just looking for a reason to attack Pakistan and try to strip it of its nuclear asset…bring it on America we will give u a war u wont forget!”

    Ummm like Salala? or Abbotabad? OR how you are responding to drones?

    Buddy they have brought it on several times and you have slinked away each time.


  • so brave
    Sep 4, 2013 - 2:52AM

    @syed baqar ahsan: “Our nuclear is the real self created pain for the USA/India so every time they come up with new self conceived worry.”

    You forgot to add Israel? Seriously though, can you please provide one statement from any elected leader of India about PAkistan’s nuclear weapons? You cannot.


  • Sep 4, 2013 - 2:03PM

    10 years ago Terrorists attacking a Naval base was unthinkable. Even an act like around a 1000 people jailbreaking in 2 separate attacks was unthinkable.

    But, this has happened in Pakistan with frightening frequency. Pakistanis can get away from a debate by citing the security lapses of other countries. This is called denial, but the whole world is not sitting mutely and waiting for things to unfold. They know what is happening in Pakistan and frankly its scary.

    Imagine a former PM was killed only 6 years ago. The President of Pakistan refused to attend the funeral of a colleague, who was a Minister in the Govt. Naval Base, GHQ was attacked. Even the Military Chief – Musharaff was attacked twice(I think).

    Even if there is a 100 to 1 shot of any attack on Nukes succeeding, even that is a scary number. Due to secrecy of all things nuclear in Pakistan, who knows Militants have tried already. If they can attack a Naval base, they obviously have attacked Nuclear Installations.


  • bajwa
    Sep 5, 2013 - 8:18AM

    Whose turn is next after Syria? Not difficult to guess.


  • Mobeen
    Sep 5, 2013 - 5:35PM


    Pakistan Nuclear Security

    We welcome Pakistan’s statement yesterday that it is fully committed to the objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation.

    The United States is confident that the Government of Pakistan is well aware of its responsibilities and has secured its nuclear arsenal accordingly. While there is room for improvement in the security of any country’s nuclear programs, Pakistan has a professional and dedicated security force that fully understands the importance of nuclear security.

    We recognize that Pakistan is fully engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues, and is working hard to ensure its strategic export controls are in line with international standards. Pakistan is a state party to both Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention and is a partner in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

    We have regular discussions with the Government of Pakistan on a range of issues on important shared interests, including nuclear security, counterterrorism and fostering a stable Afghanistan. We will continue to work together to find ways to cooperate to make Pakistan and the region more secure, stable and prosperous.


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