Pakistani Intelligence Chief to Meet with US Officials

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 3:28 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Pakistani officials say the country's intelligence chief will meet with senior U.S. officials on Wednesday, just days after the White House announced it is suspending $800 million in military aid to Pakistan.

A spokesman for the Pakistani military says General Ahmad Shuja Pasha of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency will discuss intelligence coordination matters during his one day visit.

Relations between the two sides have been strained since May 2 U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff William Daley confirmed that the U.S. is withholding a third of its military aid to Pakistan. A Pentagon spokesman has said the move is a response to Pakistan's decision to expel American military trainers and put limits on visas for U.S. personnel.

Pakistan's defense minister warned Tuesday that Pakistan may recall troops fighting militants along the Afghanistan border if the U.S. cuts off the military aid, saying Islamabad cannot afford to keep soldiers out in the mountains for such a long period.

However, Pakistani military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told VOA on Monday that reduced U.S. aid will not hamper operations against al-Qaida and Taliban militants.

General Abbas said that defeating terrorism is in the interest of both countries, but he also warned that aid with conditions is unacceptable.

In Washington Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters “the suspension of some aid to Pakistan does not signal a shift in policy but underscores the fact that the partnership with Pakistan depends on cooperation.”