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CIA informants’ detention by Pakistan’s spy agency intensifies U.S-Pak edgy ties

June 16, 2011


CIA Director Leon Panetta


The detention of Pakistani informants, who helped the CIA by providing information prior to the raid that killed the Al Qaida leader, by Pakistan’s top intelligence agency has intensified the already tense relationship between the United States and Pakistan.

According to a report that appeared in the New York Times on Wednesday, Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has detained five CIA informers who supplied information to CIA ahead of the raid the previous month in which the Al Qaida leader was killed.

One of the arrested CIA informants was reported to be a currently serving major in the rank of Pakistan Army. According to U.S authorities, the detained major took note of license plates of vehicles stopping over at the compound of Osama Bin Laden.

Meanwhile U.S officials have stated that they are not sure about the fate of the detained CIA informants.

Departing CIA Director Leon PanettaLeon Panetta moved up the issue during his recent visit to Pakistan where he had meetings with officials of Pakistan military and the ISI. The ISI directorate decided not to comment on the issue; however, the Pakistani army spokesperson denied the reports that any Pakistani army major was among those detained in connection with the Abbottabad raid.

“There is no truth in NYT story with regards to involvement and arrest of army major in connection with the OBL (Osama bin Laden) incident,” military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the U.S Defense Secretary Robert Gates told senators Wednesday that Pakistan’s detention of CIA informants is an indication of the harsh realities of today’s world. Gates did not directly confirm the reports of detention, yet his remarks were the first endorsement of the issue by any U.S official.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy also came hard on Pakistan.

“How long do we support governments that lie to us? When do we say enough is enough?” Leahy asked Gates.

Gates answered that his 27 years experience with the CIA and more than four as Pentagon chief, has made him learn that “most governments lie to each other. That’s the way business gets done.”

The security establishment of Pakistan has recently faced severe criticism at home from legislators, analysts and citizens alike for its failure to spot Osama in Abbottabad and to detect the U.S commandos’ helicopter that flew into the military garrison city and executed their mission of killing Osama on May 2.

Analysts and lawmakers in Pakistan consider both the U.S. raid into Pakistan and presence of the Al Qaida leader as violation of the country’s sovereignty.


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