“Involvement of CIA with Raymond Davis (who killed two Pakistanis in broad daylight) is beyond any shadow of doubt” is a veritable bombshell the ISI has thrown. And in an atmosphere of widespread public dismay on account of the feeling that Pakistan is resisting US pressure about the Davis affair only by taking shelter behind the court case against him, ISI’s fearless exposure of CIA’s designs against our national interests, as given in this paper’s exclusive story yesterday, comes as a breath of fresh air. It would further deter the federal government from buckling under the US pressure. It must be stated that but for the fear of judicial anger and public backlash, it seemed likely that it would submit to threats from American officials and quietly agree to repatriate Davis after giving him the required diplomatic immunity cover. Other complicating hurdles to releasing him have been: first, the Punjab government’s refusal to ignore the gravity of the crime Davis so blatantly committed and let him off and, second, former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s outspoken details, given to the media, of the American manoeuvrings to wangle for the killer diplomatic immunity from the back date.
ISI sources, while acknowledging that the professional relationship, which the premier intelligence agencies (CIA and ISI) enjoyed, has grown stronger over the years, for the first time came out in public saying that the conduct of CIA around the tragic incident of the murder of two Pakistanis has “virtually thrown the partnership into question” and “it is hard to predict if the relationship will ever reach the level at which it was prior to the Davis episode.” The Pakistani agency has done well to go on record in its criticism of CIA for its arrogance and leaking baseless stories to the media, adding the “insinuations of ISI helping in relocating and protecting the Haqqanis are nothing but insinuations”, which tended to put into doubt Islamabad’s sincerity about combating the curse of terrorism, and regretted that it failed to show respect to the mutual relationship. It was also reassuring to hear the clear-cut assertion from the ISI source telling CIA off that it should not remain under any illusion that it would work against Pakistan’s national interests in compliance with CIA’s wishes. In his words, “It is unfortunate that the CIA leadership fails to understand that the ISI works and will continue to work for national interest regardless of the desires of CIA – Nation