Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pakistan urges US to cut CIA operations

Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha

Source: Press TV

Pakistan's spy chief has demanded that the United States steeply reduce the number of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives and halt drone attacks on its soil.

This comes as the current Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha met with CIA chief Leon Panetta in Washington on Monday.

In the meeting, Pasha called for Islamabad's control over CIA operations in Pakistan.

According to Pakistani and US officials, Islamabad also asked Washington to reduce the number of CIA operatives in the county.

Meanwhile, reports say US President Barack Obama has rejected Islamabad's call for more transparency regarding CIA operations in the country.

US-Pakistani ties have been strained over Washington's deadly drone attacks as well as the case of Raymond Davis -- a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis in January.

Reports say Pakistan has also demanded that the United States stop its drone attacks inside its territory.

The developments come as President Obama has frequently blamed Pakistan for not doing enough to fight terrorism in its troubled northwestern tribal belt along the Afghan border.

This is while US planes and helicopters have increasingly violated Pakistani airspace over the past months.

The US claims its air raids target militants who cross the Pakistani border into Afghanistan. But locals say civilians are the main victims of the unauthorized attacks.

The unauthorized US drone attacks have drawn strong criticism from the Pakistani nationals and officials.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the region, however, after nine years the region remains unstable and militancy has expanded towards Pakistan.

Analysts say the US is looking for an excuse to expand its military operations in the troubled South and Central Asian region to secure bases near Russia and China.

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