Report of CIA informant arrests another blow to Pakistan's military
Already beset by unprecedented criticism, Pakistan's military now tries to head off reports that an Army major was arrested for informing the CIA of activities on the bin Laden compound.
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In addition to public disapproval, the Army and intelligence services are also facing criticism from the media that is reaching levels unprecedented in Pakistan's history. Among other criticisms, the media has condemned both a lack of competence and of accountability.Skip to next paragraph
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Journalist Saleem Shahzad, who was investigating the naval base attack, was killed in May in an unsolved murder after telling a human rights activist that he had been threatened by intelligence agents. Last week, an unarmed man was shot dead by paramilitary Rangers in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi. On Wednesday, hundreds of journalists gathered outside Pakistan’s parliament in Islamabad to protest the killings.
Increased tensions between Pakistan, CIA
According to Dr. Hussain of Quaid-i-Azam university, the arrests also highlight the depth to which relations between the CIA and ISI have plunged as they attempt to create “new terms of engagement” in the aftermath of the bin Laden raid and the Raymond Davis affair. Mr. Davis, a CIA operative, was captured and subsequently released after fatally shooting two Pakistanis in unclear circumstances in January.
An ISI official told the Monitor that joint US-Pakistani counterterror operations have stopped completely in the aftermath of the Davis incident, from an average of 10 per month in the 18 months leading up to that event.
Last week US Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed disappointment over a failed raid against two bombmaking factories in Pakistan's North Waziristan region. Militants from the Haqqani network were apparently tipped off after American officials briefed their Pakistani counterparts and asked them to carry out the raid.
On Tuesday a Congressional panel deemed that 75 percent of a $1.1 billion military aid package for Pakistan be withheld until President Obama reports on how the money will be spent.
Such moves are likely to deepen Pakistani suspicions toward the US, says Hussain. Pakistani authorities remain wary over the “American footprint” in Pakistan, adds Hussain. He cites the Pakistanis' decision to ask America to send back a large contingent of US Special Forces who were sent to Pakistan’s Tribal Areas on training missions as well as requests for the CIA to reduce its presence, which the US believes will undermine efforts to carry out counter-terror operations.
Ben Arnoldy contributed reporting.