No level of trust between ISI, CIA now: Pakistan PM

Gilani complained repeatedly about widening "trust deficit" between CIA, ISI.

Updated: May 13, 2011, 14:29 PM IST

Islamabad: There is “no level of trust” between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) now, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has acknowledged.

Gilani complained repeatedly throughout the 45-minute interview with TIME about the widening "trust deficit" between America’s CIA and its Pakistani counterpart, the ISI, saying that cooperation between the two ‘allies’ had broken down.

He also noted that a deteriorating relationship with Washington could hurt Pakistan`s fight against domestic militancy, saying: "When there`s a trust deficit, there will be problems in intelligence sharing."

When asked about the reason for this trust deficit, Gilani replied tersely: "It`s not from our side. Ask them."

The most glaring and worrying example of the breakdown for Gilani is in the working relationship between the CIA and the ISI.

"Traditionally, the ISI worked with the CIA," he said. Now "what we`re seeing is that there`s no level of trust," he said during the interview.

Relations have deteriorated sharply since last November, when the local CIA station chief was ousted, allegedly by the ISI - a charge the agency denies.

They hit a low point amid the standoff over the Raymond Davis episode, and further strain has been caused by the CIA`s covert drone strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border.

Despite his constant references to the trust deficit, Gilani indicated that he hoped to see a restoration of closer ties with the US, but put the onus on Washington to gain the support of Pakistani citizens.

"They should do something for the public which will persuade them that the US is supportive of Pakistan," he said. As an example, he enviously cited the 2008 US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement.

"It`s our public that`s dying, but the deal is happening there," Gilani said, adopting a wounded tone. "You claim there`s a strategic partnership? That we`re best friends?"

"When we passed each other, she didn’t deign to even say hello. How, then, can I believe that our parting caused her any tears?" Gilani intoned, quoting Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib.