Pak military rounds up several CIA spies

Pakistan`s military has initiated a "cleansing process" and rounded up several people believed to be working for America`s CIA.

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2011, 19:02 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s military has initiated
a "cleansing process" and rounded up several people believed
to be working for America`s CIA in a move that indicates
serious tension between the two countries.

"Army on Wednesday confirmed media reports that it had
made several detentions in connection with the US raid killing
Osama bin Laden and other unspecified incidents under `a
purge`, but denied holding any military officer," the Dawn
daily reported today.

"The arrests are part of ongoing cleansing process and
are not related to any single incident," an Inter Services
Public Relations spokesman was quoted as saying by the daily,
commenting on a New York Times report that said five persons,
including an army major, had been arrested on suspicion that
they had helped CIA in the hunt for bin Laden.

The spokesman did not clarify what he meant by "cleansing
process" and whether it was about CIA`s covert network in the
country.

Furthermore, it appears from discussions with army
officers that the number of those arrested could be more than
five, the daily said.

The Express Tribune daily said Pakistan`s security
agencies have rounded up several people who are believed to be
working for the US` Central Intelligence Agency in a move that
indicates serious tension between Islamabad and Washington.

The nationwide crackdown against the suspected CIA
informants was first launched earlier this year following the
arrest of "American spy" Raymond Davis over the killing of two
Pakistanis, an unnamed military official was quoted as saying
by the daily.

However, the official said the drive against the "CIA
spies" accelerated following the death of bin Laden in a
top-secret US commando operation last month.

"Yes, I can confirm that several suspects have been
arrested in recent months. Some of them have been released
after they were cleared by the authorities while others are
still being interrogated," he said.

He would not give the exact number of arrests though
some sources put it at 40, the daily said.

The military had yesterday, in a short statement,
dismissed the New York Times report of arrest of an army major
in connection with the bin laden raid, saying "there is no
army officer detained and the story is false and totally
baseless."

PTI