Davis case fallout: ISI asks CIA to unmask its contractors operating in Pakistan

February 26th, 2011 - 12:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Feb 26(ANI): Pakistan’s premier spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence has demanded an accounting by the US’ Central Intelligence Agency of all its contractors working in the country as a fallout from the arrest of alleged CIA agent Raymond Davis, a senior Pakistani intelligence official has claimed.

Davis, who is facing murder charges for killing two Pakistani men in Lahore, is currently kept in a high-security detention centre, and is expected to stay there until a court hearing next month.

The senior official said the ISI was enraged that Davis worked as a contractor in Pakistan on covert CIA operations without the knowledge of the Pakistanis, and it estimated that there were “scores” of more such contractors “working behind our backs,” The New York Times reports.

The Pakistani intelligence community was divided over how quickly to settle the Davis case and how much to extract from the CIA, said another Pakistani official with intimate knowledge of the situation, who declined to be named because of the delicacy of the issue.

At a minimum, the ISI wants an accounting of all the contractors who work for the CIA in roles that have not been defined to Pakistan and a general rewriting of the rules of engagement by the CIA in Pakistan, the official added.

Some senior Pakistani intelligence officers were unwilling to have Davis released under almost any circumstances, said the official, with knowledge of a split in the intelligence community.

He revealed that others wanted to use the Davis case as a bargaining chip to get the withdrawal of a civil lawsuit filed in Brooklyn last year that implicates ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

The senior ISI official said that the demand for the CIA to acknowledge the number of contractors in Pakistan was driven by the suspicion that the American spy service had slipped many such secret operatives into Pakistan in the past six months.

The increase occurred after a July 2010 directive by the Pakistan government, which is often at odds with the ISI, to its Washington embassy to expedite visas without supervision from the ISI or the Interior Ministry, the senior official added.

The ISI official said that the behaviour of people like Davis is deeply embarrassing to the ISI because it makes the agency “look like fools” in the eyes of the anti-American Pakistan public.

Meanwhile, the clampdown on American contractors by the Pakistani authorities appears to be underway as an American citizen, Aaron Mark DeHaven, was arrested on Friday in the northwestern city of Peshawar on ‘illegal stay’ charges. (ANI)

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