Reports: Pakistan Wants CIA To Reduce Its Presence

Apr 12, 2011
Originally published on April 12, 2011 7:58 pm

A visit this week by Pakistan's spy chief, the head of that country's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, to CIA headquarters in Virginia has produced some interesting media reports about relations between the two countries' intelligence agencies.

According to The New York Times:

"Pakistan has demanded that the United States steeply reduce the number of Central Intelligence Agency operatives and Special Operations forces working in Pakistan, and that it halt C.I.A. drone strikes aimed at militants in northwest Pakistan. The request was a sign of the near collapse of cooperation between the two testy allies."

It says its sources are "Pakistani and American officials."

The Associated Press has a slightly different take:

"The Pakistanis want the American agency to identify all its employees in Pakistan and shrink its overall agency staff, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence. Pakistani officials also want advance notice of CIA drone strikes aimed at militants in its tribal areas, and fewer strikes overall."

That's also what NPR's Rachel Martin is reporting. She says that U.S. officials are considering ways to cooperate more closely with Pakistan's ISI, which wants more transparency from the CIA and a reduced presence by the American agency. As she reports, "tensions between the CIA and Pakistan's spy agency the ISI reached new lows earlier this year after CIA contractor Raymond Davis shot and killed two Pakistani men on the streets of Lahore. Davis was released last month after the families of the victims were paid more than $2 million."

Rachel is scheduled to be on All Things Considered later today with more on this. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show.

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CIA: And, Rachel, I understand the Pakistani spy chief came in with some demands. What is he asking for?

RACHEL MARTIN: U.S. officials say that the drone-strike campaign in Pakistan has proved to be the most successful way to disrupt terrorist networks operating in the northwestern part of the country. There were more than a hundred last year alone, and the ISI is not necessarily given a heads-up before these things happen.

: Rachel, how much of this dispute between the CIA and the ISI is all about the killings committed by the CIA contractor Raymond Davis?

MARTIN: So Pakistanis are essentially saying enough is enough. If the U.S. is going to continue its intelligence operations in Pakistan, the CIA has to include the ISI.

: And how is the CIA treating these requests?

MARTIN: So, Robert, the suggestion there is that Pakistan isn't pulling its weight when it comes to fighting terrorist networks operating on its own soil, or that the Pakistanis have perhaps threatened to pull back on counterterrorism if the CIA doesn't come clean about all of their operations.

: Well, how likely is it that the CIA would be so open with the Pakistanis?

MARTIN: And one former CIA official told me that all this just means that the CIA is going to have to work even harder at getting its people into Pakistan on the ground there and then keeping their missions a secret.

: OK. Thank you, Rachel.

MARTIN: You're welcome.

: That's NPR national security correspondent Rachel Martin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.