CIA-ISI ties plunges to all time low hitting US Drone strikes

 
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Washington, Feb 18 (PTI) Ties between US and Pakistanintelligence agencies have hit an all time low due to standoffover the arrest of American official Raymond Davis on murdercharge compromising critical counter-terrorism operationsincluding drone strikes targeting top terror leaders.

The state of relations, while never being perfect, isnow alarming, Wall Street Journal reported quoting top USsecurity officials who said the tensions are costing US thechance to hit key terrorists in the region.

US officials say the Pakistan''s ISI is no longerproviding the targeting information and as a result there havebeen no drone attacks in Pakistan''s turbulent tribal regionsince January 23.

While, some officials and experts say that weather maybe a factor but this is one of the longest periods without astrike since the start of the Obama administration.

Drone strikes peaked in September 2010 with a record22 attacks claiming as many as 321 lives of terrorists butthey have been falling to as low as just seven since thebeginning of new year.

The paper said US intelligence officials suggest thatthe sharp drop in strikes may be because CIA is having troublein pinpointing new ''Haqqani'' network targets, either becausethe militants have gone deeper into hiding or have moved tonew areas, possibly with the help of ISI.

The Haqqani network has long used the Miranshah, thecapital of North Waziristan as its main base of operations inPakistan. But US officials says there are signs that the groupmay be shifting base to nearby Kurram agency on directions ofISI.

US has been exerting pressure on Pakistan to launch amajor military operation in North Waziristan, but the Pakistanmilitary has been dilly dallying a response for the past sixmonths. .

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