CIA, Pakistan look to repair widening rift


Politcal Worker (100+ posts)
By Greg Miller and and Karen DeYoung, Tuesday, April 12, 8:55 PM
The CIA has agreed to reveal more about its operatives and their activities in Pakistan, and pledged expanded cooperation on drone strikes, in an effort to repair a widening rift between two counterterrorism allies, U.S. and Pakistani officials said.
But U.S. officials insisted that there was no plan to suspend or restrict the CIA’s drone campaign, and that the agency has not been asked to pull any of its employees out of Pakistan.
The modest CIA concessions come at a time when the agency and its Pakistani counterpart seem increasingly at odds over the scale and direction of the covert war against al-Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal belt.
The frayed relationship was the focus of a nearly four-hour meeting Monday at CIA headquarters between agency director Leon E. Panetta and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.
Although both sides cited progress, there were also indications that major points of disagreement remain unresolved. In particular, officials provided conflicting accounts of whether the CIA’s Predator program would face new constraints.
A senior Pakistani official said the drone campaign “is frozen for the moment” until the two sides agree on new rules that would reduce the number of CIA missile strikes.
Most of those killed over the past year have been “just foot soldiers,” the Pakistani official said. He also accused the CIA of inflating the importance of targets to justify the strikes — of saying, for example, “he was an expert on bomb-making, he was the IT brain.”
But asked whether Pasha had formally requested a halt, the official said, “not in those words.”
U.S. officials said that aside from pledging to give Pakistan greater visibility into the decisions behind drone strikes, there are no new restrictions on the CIA’s ability to fire. “Panetta has an obligation to protect the American people, and he isn’t going to call an end to any operations that support that objective,” said a U.S. official briefed on the meeting between the two spy chiefs.
The official also dismissed reports that Pasha had demanded a reduction in the number of CIA officers deployed to Pakistan, saying, “That did not come up.”
The agency’s willingness to disclose the names and assignments of more of its operatives is designed to quell Pakistani anger that erupted after Raymond Davis, an agency security contractor, fatally shot two Pakistani men in Lahore.
Under the new terms, the agency is expected to provide information on contractors in the country and on some — but not all — of the staff officers who serve undercover as part of the CIA’s clandestine service.
The Davis case prompted a crackdown by Pakistani authorities who were convinced that Davis was part of a broader contingent of contractors working for the CIA on operations aimed at gathering intelligence on the country’s nuclear program and ties to militant groups.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar, security officials said they had recently stopped and questioned more than 20 Americans as part of a new effort to determine their identity and purpose in the country.
Outrage over the Davis case was compounded when the CIA launched a drone strike that inflicted heavy casualties in North Waziristan on March 17, one day after Pakistan reluctantly allowed Davis to go free.
“We did the miracle of getting Mr. Davis released and the next morning we get the token of gratitude,” the Pakistani official said, adding that some of those killed were “helping the security forces” of Pakistan.
The New America Foundation, an independent organization that tracks the drone campaign, estimates that the attack killed at least 11 militants and civilians. U.S. officials insist that no civilians were killed.
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Politcal Worker (100+ posts)
Pakistani Prime Minister , federal ministers, provincial governments, politician and special officials all are saying that we will not permit drone attacks, america must stop drone attacks but this article telling us that american totally refused to stop drone attacks, refused to give all information about some CIA contractors working in Pakistan,not only this american also not agree that drone attackers are killing innocent civilians so its true story. where over government saying we will stop them....
would that we were able to do that but how we can stop them where as we are getting dollars for it and that is other story that dollars where go or who are depositing in their accounts.....


Prime Minister (20k+ posts)

Night_Hawk - Blogger
Pakistan threatens CIA with new restrictions

* Pasha makes clear that CIA-ISI relationship has suffered a ‘breach of trust’ and has to be reconfigured with a ‘clear code of conduct’

* US officials says CIA is considering Pakistan’s request for more information but sees other demands as nonstarters

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: Pakistani officials threatened on Monday to impose new limits on the CIA drone strikes in their country and to expel agency operatives whose missions are not approved by Islamabad, US and Pakistani officials said.

According to the Washington Post, the demands, which were conveyed as top spies from the two countries met at CIA headquarters in Virginia, represent an effort by Pakistan to exert more control over the covert CIA war being waged inside its borders.

Pakistani officials have expressed mounting frustration with the accelerated pace of the CIA’s Predator air campaign and the expanded presence of agency operatives.

The frictions were the focus of a meeting on Monday between CIA Director Leon Panetta and the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

A senior Pakistani official called the tone of the meeting ‘cordial’ but said Pasha made clear that the CIA-ISI relationship had suffered a ‘breach of trust’ and had to be reconfigured with a ‘clear code of conduct’.

“We need to know who is in Pakistan doing what, and that the CIA won’t go behind our back,” said the official. “There has to be a greater sharing of information in terms of what the CIA wants and is doing. They have to stop mistrusting the ISI as much as they do you can’t have us as your ally and treat us as your adversary at the same time.”

Pasha asked the CIA for a complete list of its employees and contractors in Pakistan and made clear that some may be asked to leave, the official said.

CIA officials sought to play down the disagreement and signalled that joint counterterrorism operations would continue.

“Director Panetta and General Pasha held productive discussions today, and the CIA-ISI relationship remains on solid footing,” agency spokesman George Little said. “Today’s exchange emphasised the need to continue to work closely together, including on our common fight against terrorist networks that threaten both countries.”

Even so, US officials acknowledged that Pasha pushed to restructure the relationship and to impose new requirements on the CIA.

“The Pakistanis have asked for more visibility into some things, and that request is being talked about,” a US official said.

But Pakistani officials signaled on Monday that the dynamic could change because of a perception in Islamabad that the CIA has overstepped.

Perhaps most worrisome for the US officials is the threat of new limits on the drone campaign. The CIA carried out 118 drone strikes in Pakistan last year, more than in all the previous years of the programme combined, according to independent estimates.

Pakistani officials said they planned to press the CIA to restore the rules that were in place at the beginning of the programme, when strikes were intermittent and the agency typically gave notice to - or sought permission from - the Pakistani government before a missile was launched.

More recently, Pakistani officials have expressed alarm over the scope of the CIA’s presence inside their country, as well as an alleged expansion of agency operations aimed at gathering intelligence on Pakistan’s nuclear programme and militant groups with links to the ISI.

The CIA is considering greater coordination and information sharing to help restore a once-promising relationship with Pakistan’s intelligence agency that was badly damaged when a CIA security contractor shot two Pakistanis dead in Lahore in January, US officials said on Monday.

The US spy agency is considering Pakistan’s request for more information but sees other demands as nonstarters, according to one US official briefed on the talks. The Pakistani request for more visibility is being discussed, the official said. After the meeting between Panetta and Pasha, CIA spokesman George Little said, “The CIA-ISI relationship remains on sound footing.”\04\13\story_13-4-2011_pg1_1