CIA chief made secret trip to Pakistan

Published: February 25, 2014
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CIA Director John Brennan. PHOTO: AFP

CIA Director John Brennan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) paid a secret visit to Pakistan last week to discuss key issues concerning the regional security particularly the Afghan endgame.

A senior security official confirmed to The Express Tribune that CIA Director John Brennan traveled to Islamabad last Friday and held meetings with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and his Pakistani counterpart Lt General Zaheerul Islam.

However, the official, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media, insisted that he only ‘paid a courtesy call’ on the Army Chief. “It was a routine visit,” the official added.

This was the first visit by the US spymaster to Pakistan since he was appointed CIA chief in March 2013.

The CIA chief also met Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Zaheerul Islam where they discussed ‘important intelligence matters’, said another official.

Both sides were tight-lipped about the CIA chief’s visit as nothing was said officially.

However, sources familiar with the development said his visit was part of the ongoing engagement process between the two countries to discuss key regional issues.

The visit of the CIA chief came at a time when the fragile peace process with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is unstable.

When asked whether the issue of possible operation in North Waziristan Agency was discussed with the CIA chief, Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told reporters on Monday that it was Pakistan’s internal matter.

However, The Express Tribune has learnt that Pakistan has kept the US on board on the possible operation against the TTP in the tribal areas.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Yahudi Arabia
    Feb 25, 2014 - 10:25AM

    Looks like the Yankee Jihad in Syria is a go and CIA sandals on the ground will be discussing how Pakistan Army can supply arms to Yankee mujahids to establish Khilafat-e-Syria just like they did in Bosnia (or not, if you don’t consider IMF as Bosnia’s Bait-ul-maal).

    What goes around, comes around. Pakistan won’t be an exception.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Feb 25, 2014 - 11:16AM

    No surprises here it is business as usual. While the CIA is in control of civilian govt and its civilian head is approved by the US senate our army generals and ISI are independent govts within Pakistani state. They can do anything anytime they desire. No civilian should be included in their secret dealings and future planning.Recommend

  • Raja
    Feb 25, 2014 - 11:19AM

    America need pakistan for Afganistan

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  • aunty police
    Feb 25, 2014 - 11:25AM

    Meanwhile chaudry nisar is sleeping…..ZzZZzzz…..

    What r these secret meetings forr?

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  • Feroz
    Feb 25, 2014 - 12:49PM

    Why is the public always kept in the dark about the content of the discussions ? Does the public not have the right to know ?

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  • Ali Hassan
    Feb 25, 2014 - 1:48PM

    @Feroz: These are matters of state security. Not everything is made public (esp. intelligence related matters). This is how it works in everything country.
    PS. don’t forget we are fighting a faceless enemy.Recommend

  • Rumormonger
    Feb 25, 2014 - 1:50PM

    Brennan did not meet Nisar, as he wanted to meet only the faujis and not the paajis.Recommend

  • Umer
    Feb 25, 2014 - 1:59PM

    Mr.Yahudi Arabia, if mujahids in Syria have Riyadh and Yankee backing. What do they need from Pakistan? and Don’t tell me they need Paki SAMs because they were developed by copying american left overs at the first place. SA can get them from anywhere in the world if they wanted to.Recommend

  • AK
    Feb 25, 2014 - 2:14PM

    how the visit is secret when ET know the details???Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Feb 25, 2014 - 4:54PM

    Pakistaanis will learn one day the names of CIA operatives in their Government circles who are on CIA payroll. Right now he is keeping mum about his CIA collegues in order to be able to return safely to USA.

    Rex Minor

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  • Realist
    Feb 25, 2014 - 6:28PM

    Matters of state security esp things that are classified “top secret” and above are kept very secret in all countries. Those here who think the US system is any different is being delusional. Whether that is right or wrong is currently irrelevant. ET doesn’t know what happened in the meeting — just that it took place.Recommend

  • rkfrom ny
    Feb 25, 2014 - 10:29PM

    ..CIA has largest network inside pakistan.NYT report..!!Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Feb 26, 2014 - 1:31AM

    What happened about FIR lodged against this visitor by the KPK government? Anyhow this was not secret visit but exchange of some present and future plans in the region.

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  • ARW
    Feb 26, 2014 - 9:12PM

    Extract from this news:

    “When asked whether the issue of possible operation in North Waziristan Agency was discussed with the CIA chief, Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told reporters on Monday that it was Pakistan’s internal matter.”

    If the visit was secret then how reports asked to Sartaj Aziz about what was discussed with CIA Chief ….more over he does not respond in denial of visit but says its Pakistan’s internal matter.Recommend

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