Pakistan issues 67 visas to CIA officials

Osama Bin Laden
Islamabad, Jun 23: After months of tensions in US-Pak relations, Pakistan has issued 67 visas to CIA officials for deployment in the country as part of confidence-building measures following the US raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistan Embassy in Washington has issued 67 visas to CIA officials for deployment in Pakistan, sources in the embassy were quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

The decision to issue the visas followed an understanding between the two governments on CIA deployments and postings in Pakistan, the report said.

"Under the new arrangement, the CIA has accepted Islamabad's demand that all intelligence postings in the country should be fully disclosed and shared with the Pakistani government," a source was quoted as saying.

"Pakistan agreed to issue the visas only after an understanding on full disclosures," the source said.

The agreement was reached after talks in Islamabad earlier this month between ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and top CIA officials, including Director Leon Panetta.

"Now the ISI will be fully aware of who is doing what and where he is posted at. There will be no room for misunderstanding and suspicions," a diplomatic source was quoted as saying.

The relations between ISI and CIA first took its blow in January this year when US intelligence contractor Raymond Davis was arrested for shooting dead two Pakistanis. He was eventually let off under a blood money deal.

But the biggest blow came after the May 2 operation by US special force's personnel that led to the death of bin Laden in Pakistan's garrison city of Abbottabad.


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