CIA director calls ISI chief in backdrop of tie-threatening Davis issue standoff

Islamabad, Feb 26(ANI): US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta telephoned Pakistan's premier spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha in the backdrop of an apparent standoff between the two agencies.

The two intelligence chiefs reportedly discussed the Raymond Davis issue and the status of cooperation between the CIA and the ISI, the Dawn reports.

The telephonic conversation took place at a time when the relationship between both spy agencies has hit rock bottom following the crisis surrounding alleged CIA contractor Davis, who was arrested for shooting dead two Pakistani men last month in Lahore.

According to reports, the ISI had stopped talking with the CIA at any level, including the most senior, as it was upset with the CIA over sending Americans to Pakistan 'behind its back'.

However, a senior Pakistani official was quoted as saying that the likelihood of some resolution between the two agencies had increased after a recent meeting between US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen and Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani.

A host of top American military officials, including Mullen and ISAF commander General David Petraeus, held a secret day-long meeting with Pakistan's top military officers, including Kayani, in Oman on Tuesday to plot a course out of the diplomatic crisis that threatens the US-Pakistan relationship.

The meeting covered various aspects of the US-Pak relationship, but a large portion was dedicated to the diplomatic crisis surrounding Davis.

"The US had to point out that once beyond a tipping point the situation would be taken over by political forces that could not be controlled," Foreign Policy quoted former Pakistan army chief General Jehangir Karamat, as writing about the meeting, referring to the reported split between the CIA and the ISI that erupted following the Davis shooting incident.

"It's a spy game being played out in the media and the CIA has told the ISI to cut it out," said the senior Pakistani official, adding, "The relationship remains testy. But after the meeting between Mullen and Kayani the likelihood of some resolution has increased." (ANI)

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