Pakistan's spy chief heads to US as ties flounder

By REUTERS
July 13, 2011 08:41

 
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ISLAMABAD - The head of Pakistan's powerful spy agency headed for Washington on Wednesday for unscheduled talks, the military said, days after the US suspended a third of military aid over deepening tensions in their relationship.

Few details were immediately available about Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha's one-day trip, but it comes at a time when the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is under intense pressure to sever ties with militant groups including those it has long nurtured as assets in Afghanistan and India.

Relations between the intelligence establishments of the two countries have been on a downward spiral since January after a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis with joint operations against militants suspended soon after.

Then in May, the killing of Osama bin Laden in a secret raid by US special forces further damaged the relationship, with Pakistan seeing the operation as a violation of its sovereignty.

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