`US likely to pull out CIA station chief in Pakistan`
The US is likely to withdraw the CIA station chief in the Pakistani capital after his cover was blown when Imran Khan`s party named him in a FIR registered over a recent drone strike, according to a media report on Friday.
Islamabad: The US is likely to withdraw the CIA station chief in the Pakistani capital after his cover was blown when Imran Khan`s party named him in a FIR registered over a recent drone strike, according to a media report on Friday.
The US is "increasingly worried" about the development and is considering recalling its top spy from Pakistan, The Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying.
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan`s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party mentioned the name of the purported CIA station chief in a First Information Report registered over a US drone strike in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on November 21. The party rules the province.
The drone strike in Hangu district killed six persons, including three top commanders of the Haqqani terror network that has carried out a series of attacks on US forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.
As part of the understanding between the US and Pakistan, the CIA station chief works undercover. It could not independently be confirmed that the person named in the FIR was the CIA`s top operative in Pakistan.
Another CIA station chief`s identity was given away in 2010, when a Pakistani human rights lawyer spearheading a campaign against drone strikes filed a lawsuit that named the spy. At that time, the US had pulled out the CIA station chief because of security concerns.
The ouster of that station chief was believed to be the result of a rift between the CIA and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency. However, a Pakistani security official told the Tribune that the ISI had nothing to do with the latest move by Imran Khan`s party.
"The ISI and CIA have been cooperating with each other under well-defined standard operating procedures," the unnamed official was quoted as saying.
The spokesperson of the US Embassy in Islamabad refused to comment on the development. The spokesperson said the situation would become clear in a few days.
The CIA station chief in Islamabad has a key role in the drone campaign run by the American spy agency, including the selection of targets and final clearance for strikes.