US to continue drone attacks despite ISI protest: report

Despite strong objections raised by the ISI, the US has reportedly decided to continue with its deadly drone attacks on select terrorist targets inside Pakistan.

Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, at a meeting on Monday with the CIA director Leon Panetta, had expressed strong concern over the nature of drone attacks.

But the Obama administration has ruled out halting one of its highly successful anti-terror programmes.

“Panetta has an obligation to protect this country (US) and he’s not going to halt any operations that accomplish that objective,” a US official was quoted as saying by the ABC News.

Panetta and Pasha met at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, for two hours and 25 minutes, after which Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen joined them for lunch in an adjacent dining room, the report said.

As per the report, some US officials believe that within Pakistan, the ISI is hyping the rift in order to score political points.

These officials say a recent story suggesting that cooperation between the agencies has stopped was “overwritten” and a leak designed to convince an increasingly anti-American Pakistani public that the ISI was showing the CIA who’s boss, it said.

Sources say Pasha did not “scold” the US, as some have depicted it, though he did elaborate on how the CIA officer Raymond Davis case has become such a hot button issue in Pakistan – something the US already knew – the news channel said.

Pakistani officials believe the case increased public anger at the US, which reduces the ISI’s ability to work with the CIA, it added.


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