ISI chief to push for intel share at US talks: Malik
DUBAI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Monday that Pakistan’s spy chief will call for an end to US drone strikes in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and push for a sharing of technology and intelligence during a visit to Washington this week.
“We will push for no drones. If we (Pakistan and the US) are partners, we should sit together and have a common strategy.” However, in this regional war there has been no common strategy against a common enemy,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told a news conference in Dubai.
“I hope the visit of the director of the ISI will have good results. There is some dialogue going on as we speak,” he said.
The United States has given no sign it is willing to halt the drone strikes.
“Both countries have to find a mid-way,” Malik told reporters. “This of course means intelligence-sharing. Also, give us the technology and we will use it. The US has given us F16s. Are we misusing it?
Lieutenant-General Zaheer ul-Islam’s visit to meet CIA director General David Petraeus will be his first since he became head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in March and follows a thaw in relations between Pakistan and the United States.
Pakistan, however, continues to insist US drone strikes – which it says are a breach of its sovereignty – must end.
The country has been increasingly vocal in its public opposition to the drones. Pakistan’s leaders had quietly approved initially but now say they are a violation of sovereignty and insist they fan anti-US sentiment.
US officials are understood to believe the attacks too important to give up, although the number declined as relations between the nominal allies plunged to their lowest in a decade.
But on July 3 Islamabad agreed to end a seven-month blockade on Nato supplies travelling overland to Afghanistan after the United States apologised for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in botched air strikes last November.
Earlier today, Pakistani officials said that a ban on Nato trucks at the main border crossing into Afghanistan will last until the government promises to safeguard security.