'Blame-game' over CIA's Pak station chief leak to harm 'fragile democracy' Pak: Kerry

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Washington, Dec 20(ANI): US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, John Kerry, has rejected the claims that the pull out of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)'s station chief from Pakistan was a 'major setback', and called for an end to heaping blame on Islamabad for the development.

"I don't believe it will be a major setback, and I think we need to stop having public debates about whether Pakistan is at fault for or not at fault for, and whether we're not at fault for or at fault for," the Nation quoted Kerry, as saying.

"That does not help this process. Pakistan, it's a very fragile democracy that has emerged out of eight years, nine years or whatever, of the (Pervez) Musharraf dictatorship. There are huge economic difficulties facing them, huge internal difficulties facing them."

"They've (Pakistanis) made many decisions that, in fact, put themselves at risk in many ways. The drones are very unpopular all through Pakistan. And yet they're allowing us," he added.

The CIA had pulled its top clandestine officer out of Pakistan earlier this month amid an escalating war of recriminations between American and Pakistani spies, with some US officials convinced that the officer's cover was deliberately blown by Pakistan's military intelligence agency.

The US officials said that they strongly suspected that operatives of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a hand in revealing the CIA officer's identity- possibly in retaliation against a civil lawsuit filed in Brooklyn last month implicating the ISI chief in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, did not immediately provide details to support their suspicions, but said that the CIA station chief had received a number of death threats since being publicly identified in a legal complaint sent to the Pakistani police by the family of victims of earlier drone campaigns.

The top CIA spy's hurried departure was the latest evidence of mounting tensions between the two uneasy allies, which could intensify in the coming months with the prospect of more American pressure on Pakistan to hunt for militants in its tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The job of the CIA station chief in Islamabad is perhaps the spy agency's most important overseas post, one that requires helping oversee the agency's covert war and massaging its often testy relationship with the ISI. (ANI)

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