ISI chief leaves for Washington for day’s visit (Second Lead)

July 13th, 2011 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, July 13 (IANS) Pakistan’s spy agency chief, Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha, left for Washington Wednesday, more than two months after Osama bin Laden’s killing hit ties with the US.

Media reports here said that Gen. Pasha would stay in the US for just a day and discuss issues related to intelligence information sharing and war on terror.

It will be the first visit by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief to Washington after US commandos stealthily flew into the Pakistani city of Abbottabad May 2 and gunned down the elusive Al Qaeda chief in his hideout.

The killing severely strained ties between the US and Pakistan. For the first time, Pakistani military and intelligence agencies came under widespread criticism domestically for failing to prevent what was viewed as blatant US intrusion.

The US announcement last week stopping millions of dollars in aid to the Pakistani military following the expulsion of more than 100 US Special Forces trainers by Islamabad has strained the relations further.

About $800 million in military aid and equipment - over a third of the more than $2 billion US security aid to Pakistan - could be suspended or cancelled.

The Dawn said Gen. Pasha’s visit follows top US military official Gen. James Mattis’s meetings with Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman Gen. Khalid Shameem Wynne in Rawalpindi Tuesday.

There was intense speculation after the May 2 US raid that Gen. Pasha had been sacked or that he had travelled to Washington to explain how Osama ended up so deep inside Pakistan.

There were also calls for his sacking but he survived the crisis.

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