Pakistan's top spy visits Washington in patch-up trip

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 11, 2011 5:17 AM
Pakistan's top spy visits Washington in patch-up trip

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The head of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is visiting his counterpart at the CIA, the agency said on Monday, in an attempt to patch up an alliance considered crucial to winning the war against al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban.

Lieutenant-general Ahmad Shuja Pasha's visit comes at a time when U.S.-Pakistan joint intelligence operations have been disrupted over a series of disputes, particularly the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis in the eastern city of Lahore in January.

Pakistan held Davis despite U.S. insistence that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity. He was released last month after the families of the dead men were paid compensation, a custom in Pakistan and sanctioned in Islam.

The ISI offered no details on Pasha's trip which also comes days after the Pakistani government extended his tenure for the second time to ensure continuity.

Pasha is generally seen as getting on well with his U.S. counterparts, but he has faced personal embarrassment after families of the victims of the Mumbai 2008 attacks named him and other ISI operatives in three lawsuits filed before a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

The suits allege that the ISI officers were involved with Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), an anti-India militant group, in planning and orchestrating the Mumbai attacks in which U.S. citizens were among the victims.

Pakistan's government has said it will "strongly contest" the litigation.

(Created by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)