Sunday, July 22

Upcoming 'make or break' meeting between CIA and ISI chiefs

From PTI (India) via Hindustan Times (India), July 22:
(Islamabad) ISI chief Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam will meet his American counterpart, CIA head Gen David Petraeus, in Washington on August 2, the first meeting between the spy chiefs of Pakistan and the US amidst persisting tensions between the two countries. Islam had called off a visit to the US two months ago when bilateral relations plunged to an all-time low. The ISI chief's visit to the US will be a one-day affair, the [Pakistani online newspaper, The News International] quoted its sources as saying.

The meeting between Islam and Petraeus would be a “make or break” affair since it could determine future relations between various organisations in Pakistan and the US, including the General Headquarters and the Pentagon, the daily quoted sources as saying.

The spy chiefs will focus on several defence and security-related issues, including intelligence-sharing and Pakistan's call for an end to US drone strikes in the lawless ribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

Islamabad has described the attacks by CIA-operated drones as counterproductive and a violation of the country's sovereignty. Islam is expected to ask the US to provide drone technology to Pakistan, the sources were quoted as saying.

Circumstances surrounding the unilateral US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad last year will also figure in the talks.

The “unguarded activities” of US agencies and agents on Pak soil will also be taken up by the ISI chief, the report said.
So it seems Washington's ball on Pakistan is now in Gen. Petraeus's court; after consistently flubbing, it looks as if State, Defense, and the White House want to make him responsible for persuading the Pakistani military/ISI that they shouldn't keep fighting a proxy war against NATO in Afghanistan.

As to the request for drone technology, I think that has been floated every time a ranking member of the Pak military/ISI has met with an American counterpart. The Pakistanis have their own drone technology but they want weaponized drones from the USA. What they want most of all, however, is for the U.S. to share all its intelligence on terrorist activity with the Pakistani military.

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