04-21-2019  9:26 pm      •     
Pam Benson CNN
Published: 03 August 2012

(CNN) -- The first meeting between the head of the Central Intelligence Agency and his new Pakistani counterpart was labeled "substantive, professional and productive" by a senior U.S. official.

CIA Director David Petraeus and Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Zahir ul-Islam met Thursday at CIA headquarters in suburban Washington in an effort to bring the contentious relationship back on track.

The U.S. knows little about Islam, who rose through the ranks of the Pakistani military before being appointed to head the ISI in March by Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The Pakistani government has been reassessing its relationship with Washington after a number of high-profile incidents last year, particularly the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, of which the Pakistanis had no prior knowledge, and the accidental killing of Paksitani soldiers operating along the Afghanistan border by U.S. airstrikes in November.

The missile strikes by CIA-operated drones against suspected terrorists in the tribal areas has also irked Pakistani officials who publicly say the country's sovereignty is being violated and there are too many civilian casualties associated with the attacks. The U.S. has rejected the accusations.

According to a senior Pakistani intelligence official, Islam was expected to urge the U.S. to end its drone strikes and provide the Pakistanis with target information so that their forces can hit suspected terrorists.

The senior U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions would not comment on the specifics of the meeting, but said the discussions between Petraeus and Islam "provided an opportunity to discuss a number of proposals for how we can enhance our joint efforts against terrorism."

The official added, "Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to counter the terrorist presence in the region that threatens both U.S. and Pakistani national security."

Last week, a U.S. official told CNN the United States "supports the Pakistanis taking more responsibility for ridding the tribal areas of al Qaeda and its militant allies."

Without getting into specifics, the official said there were actions Pakistan could take to get rid of al Qaeda and the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based militant group that launches strikes against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

During a trip to Afghanistan in June, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Pakistani government needs to do more to root out the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network. Panetta emphasized U.S. frustration with attackers crossing the border from Pakistan and called on Pakistan to stop "allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces."

"We have made that very clear time and time again and we will continue to do that, but as I said, we are reaching the limits of our patience," Panetta said.

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship has improved somewhat since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized last month for the airstrike that killed the 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.

The Pakistanis responded by reopening the supply routes to Afghanistan that they had closed down in retaliation for the deaths.

CNN's Nasir Habib contributed to this report.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
Carpentry Professionals

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events