Thursday, June 23, 2011

With Eye on Pleasing US, Pakistan Promises Three Dozen CIA Visas

Officials Term Effort a ‘Confidence-Building Measure’

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  June 22, 2011
 
With tensions between the US and Pakistan at an all-time high and repeated US efforts to “save” the relationship ending with the visiting US official angrily condemning Pakistan, the Zardari government is now trying its hand at improving ties.

In this case, it means that the Pakistani government will grant more than three dozen visas to CIA officers who want to come to Pakistan for spying missions. Pakistan had previously expelled large numbers of spies in the wake of the Raymond Davis fiasco and the revelation that the US was deploying spies and claiming they were consulate employees.

Davis, who was nominally an employee of the Lahore consulate but was actually the de facto head of the CIA in Pakistan, killed two Pakistanis on the streets of Lahore. Murder charges against him were dropped after the payment of a large sum of “blood money.”

Pakistani officials said the additional visas would not only be a “confidence-building measure” but would improve intelligence sharing. With US officials repeatedly accusing Pakistan of leaking shared intelligence to the militants, that remains to be seen.
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