Sacrificing Our TODAY for the World's TOMORROW
FATA is "Federally Administered Tribal Area" of Pakistan; consisting of 7 Agencies and 6 F.Rs; with a 27000 Sq Km area and 4.5 m population.
MYTH: FATA is the HUB of militancy, terrorism and unrest in Afghanistan.
REALITY: FATA is the worst "VICTIM of Militancy”. Thousands of Civilians dead & injured; Hundreds of Schools destroyed; Thousands of homes raised to ground; 40% population displaced from homes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

CIA wants ISI Chief Pasha removed - By Ansar Abbasi (The News, 9 May 2011)

Courtesy: Daily "The News", 9 May 2011
CIA increases pressure on Pasha to quit
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: The May 2 Abbottabad fiasco has given an already furious Leon Panetta of CIA a God-gifted opportunity to pin down ISI chief Lt General Shuja Pasha and get him replaced by a “friendly” ISI chief who would tow Washington’s line.
Already the leading American magazine, Newsweek, has demanded of the US administration to insist on the resignation of General Pasha whereas an official source in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington confided to this correspondent that some US authorities have already sounded them about their intentions about Pasha. However, no formal demand has been put forward to Islamabad as yet by Washington to this respect.
To the bad luck of Pasha and the ISI, the Abbottabad fiasco has hit Pakistan at a time when Leon Panetta-led CIA and Gen Pasha-led ISI were already at daggers drawn following Pasha’s insistence to curtail and bring into regular check all CIA operations in Pakistan.
The Newsweek in its latest article “A Faltering Bargain with Pakistan” writes: “As a minimal first step, the U.S. should insist on the resignation of the chief of the ISI, Gen. Shuja Pasha, on the official grounds of a gross failure of his service, and the unofficial grounds that this would be the start of a movement toward greater responsibility and accountability in the service. The U.S. should also insist on more rapid progress in creating an effective counter-terrorism agency to coordinate Pakistan’s feuding intelligence services.”
Washington and the CIA have long been desirous of reducing the ISI as its subsidiary agency and for the same purpose have been pressing Pakistan to “restructure” the agency and to bring it under what the US calls “civilian control”.
A couple of years back, reportedly on foreign pressure, a notification was issued to bring the ISI under Interior Minister Rehman Malik but it was undone immediately following military establishment’s serious objections and the general condemnation of this move by the media, political parties, retired generals, etc. Interestingly, the timing of the notification coincided with the first official visit of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to Washington.
In the post-May 2 get-Osama operation by special US forces in Abbottabad, the CIA Chief Leon Panetta came really hard on the ISI despite the latter’s sharing of crucial intelligence information as acknowledged even by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Panetta, however, while commenting about OBL’s whereabouts suggested that Pakistan (ISI) was either accomplice or incompetent. It was the first serious charge levelled by Washington against Pakistan, which though has categorically said that it was the ISI, which provided to the CIA the initial lead that led to the final location of Ladin.
Panetta’s CIA is believed to be in a revengeful mood to teach a lesson to the ISI and Gen Pasha for how they have been treating the CIA in the recent past. Pasha, who was seen by the Americans as “usually emotional”, as reflected by the recent disclosures of WikiLeaks, has been tough with the CIA in recent times. According to the latest media report, the CIA has sought from the ISI the details of all those ISI officials who have been interacting with the al-Qaeda members in the past. In case of Osama also though the ISI provided the lead, the CIA never shared with ISI the information as it later matured.
It is said that Pakistan Army and ISI’s reluctance to expand the military operations against militants beyond the tribal regions of South Waziristan into neighbouring North Waziristan was one of the contributing factors for the deterioration of US-CIA intelligence relationship but the sore point became the ISI’s refusal to dance to the CIA’s tunes.
The relationship between ISI and CIA hit a low point when the CIA was forced to withdraw its local chief in Pakistan late last year after his name was published in the Pakistani media. The CIA blamed ISI for this. Later, the tension grew further between the two after a CIA private contractor Raymond Davis was caught red-handed in a broad daylight cold-blooded murder of two Pakistanis in Lahore. Davis was put behind the bars despite American pressure for his immediate release for being a “diplomat”. Though Davis was later shamelessly released and handed over to the US following a major role reportedly played by the ISI, tensions between the ISI and CIA grew further reportedly after Gen Pasha insisted that all Davis-like CIA agents must wrap up and leave Pakistan.
Media reports though suggested that along with Raymond Davis dozens of undercover CIA operators were also made to pack up, the details of the quid pro quo over Davis’ release were never shared by the government, ISI or the army with the media.
Surprisingly the Raymond Davis’ release instead of improving relations between the CIA and the ISI brought them to all-time low.
After Raymond’s case the ISI reportedly asked CIA to disclose the location of its agents in Pakistan and share with the ISI the nature of their emplacement in Pakistan. After repeated questioning CIA kept denying that they have so many operatives in Pakistan.
In the recent past, spats between the ISI and the CIA got worsened when DG ISI went to USA for talks with the US officials including Panetta. He started with one point agenda that ISI will not support any CIA activity in Afghanistan or Pakistan if the CIA did not declare their operatives in Pakistan.
The ISI is said to have prepared the list of 438 US officials who were in Pakistan but were not part of any consulate or embassy staff in any city. Their whereabouts were asked from CIA, to which they gave the funny reply that many of them have been lost. The CIA, it is said, claimed that these operatives were used in FATA area for the war on terror but in various incidents they have either been kidnapped or killed by Taliban, so now they were no more in Pakistan.
“This stupid reply was totally non-digestible to DG ISI,” a source claimed, adding that in his concluding remarks the DG ISI gave a clear and stern reply to CIA officials that if they don’t know where their operatives were in Pakistan, then ISI was well aware of CIA operatives in the Middle East and we can tell those governments about their presence and activities. Panetta never expected such reply from Pasha.
The two reportedly were embroiled in heated arguments and it all ended up in Pasha returning to Pakistan from Washington within hours of his reaching there. Panetta was furious with Pasha, as he never thought that the intelligence chief of a country like Pakistan would confront the CIA chief this way. So he resolved to pin down Pasha and the ISI.


Note: The viewpoint expressed in this article is solely that of the writer / news outlet. "FATA Awareness Initiative" Team may not agree with the opinion presented.

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