CIA chief leaves Pak without resetting ties with ISI

CIA chief leaves Pak without resetting ties with ISI

Panetta confronts Islamabads military leadership, say reports

Panetta, who arrived on an unscheduled visit on Friday evening, did not meet anyone other than army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

He met the two leaders at Army House in Rawalpindi over dinner and discussed what was described by the Inter-Services Public Relations as a “framework for future intelligence sharing.”

The CIA chief’s departure without routine calls on President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was seen by observers as a sign of the stalemate in his discussions with the military leadership, the Dawn newspaper reported.

According to the daily’s sources, Panetta was “surprised by the rigidity shown by the military, which went to the extent of even declining an offer by Washington of security assistance.”

Government officials insisted that unlike in the past, Panetta was not scheduled to meet anyone else during his visit, the report said. US media reports said Panetta had confronted Pakistan’s military leadership with evidence of collusion between militants and Pakistani security officials, causing fresh strains in the troubled relations.

Panetta presented the evidence during his meeting with Kayani and Pasha. The CIA had passed intelligence in the past few weeks to its Pakistani counterparts on two facilities where militants made improvised explosive devices but when Pakistani forces raided the facilities, the militants had disappeared.

The CIA chief showed Pasha “satellite and other intelligence that the CIA believes is evidence of Pakistani security’s efforts to help Islamic militants based in Pakistan,” ABC News quoted US and Pakistani officials as saying.

Panetta shared with the Pakistani Generals a “10-minute edited video that shows the militants evacuating two bomb factories in Waziristan, another report said. Even before Panetta’s visit, Kayani had made it clear that the army would not allow the CIA to carry out independent operations in Pakistan and that any future intelligence cooperation would be reciprocal and transparent.

Panetta “did little to pacify Pakistani Generals” and instead confronted them with evidence of collusion with Taliban militants, the report said.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox