Pakistan spy agency chief to discuss intelligence sharing in US
The chief of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency was on his way to the US to discuss intelligence sharing with the CIA, the military said Wednesday, DPA reported.
Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha's one-day visit to the United States comes as relations between the two countries have been strained following the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US commandos in the north-western Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 2.
Washington has questioned whether Pakistan is fully committed to the war on terrorism, and tensions increased after bin Laden was found hiding in a city near the Pakistani capital. Islamabad says the US commando action was unilateral and unauthorized.
About 800 million dollars of roughly 2 billion dollars in annual military aid from the US to Pakistan has been frozen.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Pakistan must act more robustly to combat terrorism and extremism for the military aid to be restored.
After the raid on bin Laden's compound, Pakistan requested that US military trainers leave the country. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said part of the suspended aid was connected to the training programme.
Pakistani has reportedly scaled down military cooperation, including the exchange of intelligence with the US military in Afghanistan, and expelled more than 100 US and British army trainers.
Following news of the US decision to hold back aid, Pakistan threatened to pull back troops from nearly 1,100 security posts near the Afghan border .
"The next step would be that the government or the armed forces will pull back the forces from the border areas," said Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar in an interview on Tuesday.
Pakistan has said it remains committed to fighting militancy. Military chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Tuesday said Pakistan would "fight the menace of terrorism in our own national interest using our own resources."