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ISI, CIA chiefs to meet in August: drone attacks will be main agenda

Published Jul 29, 2012 09:20am


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Pakistan's Director-General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant-General Zaheer-ul-Islam (R), attends a function with Governor of Sindh Ishrat-ul-Ebad (C) and Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah (L) in Karachi, December 25, 2011. — Reuters File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Zaheer-u-ul Islam will hold talks in Washington on August 1-3 with his CIA counterpart, a military statement said, with drone strikes expected to be a major issue.

It is the first time in a year that the chief of the Pakistan military's powerful ISI will make the trip, signalling a thaw in relations after US troops found and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011.

Lieutenant General Islam, who was appointed in March, “will visit USA from 1st to 3rd August. This will be a service-to-service bilateral visit,” the statement said.

“He will meet his counterpart General David Petraeus, director CIA.” The short statement gave no other details, but a senior Pakistani security official earlier told AFP that the pair would discuss counter-terror cooperation and intelligence sharing.

The ISI chief would also demand an end to US drone attacks against the Taliban and al Qaeda, and again ask for the means for Pakistan to carry out the attacks instead, the security official said.

It had been expected that Islam would visit the US in late July. It was not immediately clear why that trip did not happen.

Islamabad has been increasingly vocal in its public opposition to the drones. Pakistan's leaders had quietly approved initially but now say they are a violation of sovereignty and insist they fan anti-US sentiment.

US officials are understood to believe the attacks too important to give up, although the number declined as relations between the nominal allies plunged to their lowest in a decade.

But on July 3 Islamabad agreed to end a seven-month blockade on Nato supplies travelling overland to Afghanistan after the United States apologised for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in botched air strikes last November.

The resumption of Nato traffic has been temporarily suspended over fears of right-wing militants' attacks.


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Comments (9) Closed

imran Jul 29, 2012 10:03pm
pakistan govt and army should support iran peoples and syria and be a friend of russia china ...time to get our of US and israel war..or cia mossad will break pakistan
althaf Jul 29, 2012 09:39pm
Please stop blaming the PPP. The Pakistani army is not answerable to anybody and certainly not to a constitutional govt. The entire drama of closing and opening of supply routes was managed by the army. Just as was the case in Kargil, once again the civilians were forced to clean up the mess created by the foolhardy generals.
parvez Jul 29, 2012 03:59pm
It is good to see ISI working alongside and under a democratic government and under the guidelines of the parliament. Those who do not like PPP should not work to kill democracy which we have achieved after a long a struggle.
saeed Jul 29, 2012 08:00pm
quaid must be rolling in his grave.
Anand Jul 29, 2012 05:27pm
It is a shame that so many Pakistanis want to continue with a facade of democracy which remains dancing to tunes of unelected army/ ISI. What a shame in 21st century. Pakistanis remain completely divided on what they want out of Paksitan, which set-up they want or not? Current mess is just an outcome of such internal contradictions.
Saad (DXB) Jul 29, 2012 11:37am
What's the use of all these meetings? The PPP government has infected our proud army as well, who as guardians of the state and constitution are in no position to shoot down any drones as recommended by the parliamentary committee. Alas!!!
Sandip Jul 29, 2012 05:10pm
From when have the Army and ISI, or any department even remotely connected to these departments of the government( the names of FC, NLC etc readily come to mind) ever cared about the government? They are not shooting any drone down since they care more about their own skin and they know that the moment they try any such antics, the consequences for them will indeed be grievous. Hence the reluctance to try any such antics. And it is a sensible step.
Syed (Australia) Jul 29, 2012 12:31pm
It is a shame that Pakistan Army has become a slave of the corrupt PPP government.
andy fr dc Jul 29, 2012 02:47pm
Will the USA give Drone technology to the same country that hid OBL and supports the Taliban ? You only get one guess.