`CIA doesn’t need ISI collaboration anymore`

Reports say the CIA has established its own spy network in Pakistan.

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2011, 13:43 PM IST

Washington: The Central Investigation Agency (CIA) has established its own spy network in Pakistan, a US newspaper has quoted an official, as saying.

According to the US official, the CIA established its spy network in Pakistan’s tribal areas during the last two years.

A summit of spymasters that was held this week eased tensions, but failed to resolve issues over US drone attacks and espionage, which have imperilled the vital relationship between the CIA and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), The News quoted a US official, as telling a news agency.

The US said that the CIA had established an information-gathering network in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and that the ISI collaboration was no longer required to specify targets for drone strikes, Dunya News reported.

According to the newspaper, the US authorities told Pakistan that neither drone strikes would be stopped nor an explanation would be given to the Asian nation for each attack.

The US intelligence agency is willing to expand consultations with Pakistan over drone operations, American officials said following a meeting between CIA director Leon Panetta and ISI chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha on Monday.

But Pakistan’s demands for a drastic reduction in drone attacks are unacceptable, as are suggestions that the United States should return to a Bush-era policy, limiting the strikes to "high-value" militant targets, the officials said.

"Panetta has an obligation to protect the American people and he isn`t going to call an end to any operations that support that objective," one American official said.

US officials also worry that Islamabad has been slowing routine rotations of American personnel, including spies, diplomats and military trainers, which could become a serious drag on routine and secret US activities in the region.

Despite public protestations by Islamabad over US drone strikes in its militancy-infested tribal region, Pakistan hopes that the United States will move ahead with long-stalled plans to supply a fleet of the remotely piloted aircraft, according to a source familiar with its wish-list.

ANI