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ISI chief to discuss drones in US: official

Published Jul 18, 2012 08:01am


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ISI Chief Zaheer ul-Islam. - File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's head of intelligence will next week visit the United States to resume talks on drone strikes, an official said on Wednesday.

It is the first time in a year the head of the ISI intelligence agency flies to Washington, signaling a thaw in relations beset by crisis since US troops found and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011.

Lieutenant General Zaheer ul-Islam, who was appointed in March, will hold talks with CIA director David Petraeus on US drone strikes, counter-terror cooperation and intelligence sharing.

A senior Pakistani security official said Zaheer would demand an end to US attacks and again ask for the means for Pakistan to carry out the attacks instead.

Islamabad has been increasingly vocal in its public opposition to the drones, which leaders quietly approved initially, as its alliance with Washington crashed to its lowest ebb in a decade.

“This visit comes against the backdrop of extensive consultations between civilian and military leadership and the general has been authorised to take a firm stand on drones issue during his talks,” the official told AFP.

“We need this precision strike capability to avoid collateral damage and its political fall out. The idea is that the US develops the target and tells us, and we destroy it ourselves,” the official added.

Pakistan says American raids are a violation of sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment.

But US officials are understood to believe the attacks too important to give up, although the number has declined as relations have nosedived.


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Comments (7) Closed

saythetruth Jul 18, 2012 11:39am
Discuss what ? you can not even publish the names of all the innocent that died in the drone attack. The young the old the women of the tribal areas are crying for help but shame on us for allowing drone attacks against our own people.
Saad (DXB) Jul 18, 2012 03:57pm
You are absolutely wrong. It was Shuja Pasha who convinced the government to ban the NATO Supplies. It is only after his retirement they opened the same
Zero Jul 18, 2012 03:58pm
Lets give our new 007 a chance .. he certainly seems to have a good head on his shoulders!
Saad (DXB) Jul 18, 2012 04:00pm
I really believed the Parliament when they decided that no drone strikes will be allowed in Pakistani territory and they may even be shot down if not stopped. Does our government have no shame to quietly overlook the resolution passed by the representatives of the country?
Bangash Jul 18, 2012 01:29pm
I hope this ISI commander is more effective in his job than Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the most incompetent ISI chief in the history of the agency.
syed baqar ahsan Jul 18, 2012 08:37am
It will be shear waste of time going so far,all the neighbours are annoyed by reopening supply route. Now India is their priority in all fields,our politicians and high ups will take time to get mature.Polices and strategy of other nation towards us is not being understood by design in our power corridors So its time to understand the dilemma with in rather going here and there.
ashwani dogra Jul 18, 2012 08:44am
Not sure how this will work. At present, either (a) Pakistani informants, or (b) US special forces stationed in the area , pinpoint the target. Collateral damage cannot be avoided whoever presses the button, as families of the so called terrorists will always be at risk if their houses are targeted. At present, the bitterness is targeted at the americans, but they cannot get at them directly. If our goverrnment does the killing, surely there is a greater danger of a backlash in other parts of the country? It seems far better to continue as we are, using the americans to do our dirty work for us. The only possible logic is to get our hands on the technology for use elsewhere