CIA chief in India, discusses Obama visit

Last Updated: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 18:36

New Delhi: Ahead of the visit of President
Barack Obama, CIA chief Leon Panetta was in India looking for
ways to cement sharing of information in tackling terrorism.

Panetta, the top-most US intelligence official, held
a series of meetings with senior government officials
including Union Home Secretary G K Pillai over the last one
week.

During his meetings, including with his Indian
counterpart RAW chief K C Verma and Intelligence Bureau
head Rajiv Mathur, Panetta discussed cooperation between the
two countries especially in the field of counter-terrorism
and sharing intelligence.

The two sides are understood to have discussed the issue
of terrorism that continues to emanate from Pakistan and was
threatening India as well as many other parts of the world.

American Embassy officials remained tightlipped on the
visit of Panetta. "We do not comment on intelligence issues,"
they said.

The CIA chief came here over a month before the high
profile visit of the US President to India beginning November
seven.

This is the first visit by any top US official after the
a team of the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA)
questioned Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley in May in
Chicago.

Post Mumbai terror strikes in November 2008, India and
the US have seen several top level interactions in the area
of intelligence.

Earlier this year, Director of National Intelligence
(DNI) Dennis C Blair visited India during which he had met
several top officials besides Union Home Minister P
Chidambaram.

Blair had said Pakistan was using militant groups like
Lashkar-e Taiba as strategic tools against India.

Panetta had visited India in March last year and was
followed by FBI Chief Robert Mueller.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 18:36

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