The evidence included video footage of jihadists evacuating a bomb-making facility after they were apparently alerted by elements within Pakistani intelligence about a planned raid. By the time Pakistani troops arrived, the facilities were empty. “CIA chief confronts Pak over collusion with militants,” from the Press Trust of India, June 11 (thanks to Sanjay):
Islamabad/Washington: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Leon Panetta has confronted Pakistan’s military leadership with evidence of collusion between militants and security officials in the country, causing fresh strains in the troubled US-Pak ties.
Panetta, who arrived in Islamabad yesterday, presented the evidence during meetings with Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha late last night, media reports said today.
The CIA had passed intelligence in the past few weeks to its Pakistani counterparts on two facilities where militants made Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) but when Pakistani forces raided the facilities, the militants had disappeared, the reports said.
Panetta showed Pasha “satellite and other intelligence that the CIA believes is evidence of Pakistani security’s efforts to help Islamic militants based in Pakistan,” ABC News quoted US and Pakistani officials as saying.
The CIA chief shared with the Pakistani Generals a “10-minute edited video that shows the militants evacuating two bomb factories in Waziristan,” Time magazine quoted its sources as saying in a report on its website. […]
During his meetings, Panetta conveyed the CIA’s belief that the militants had been warned by Pakistani security officials prior to the raids, ABC News reported.
Panetta travelled to Islamabad just hours after his Congressional hearing to become Secretary of Defence, a trip that US officials described as a way to “discuss ways to improve cooperation”.
However, his visit expected to be his last as CIA chief “underscored the lack of trust that US officials continue to have in their Pakistani counterparts,” ABC News said.
Since the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Abbottabad on May 2, the US has urged Pakistan to take “decisive steps” to crack down on militants and handed over a list of five top terrorists, including Ayman al-Zawahiri and Ilyas Kashmiri, that it wants Islamabad to apprehend or kill.
That would explain the quick turnaround and subsequent controversy over whether Kashmiri is still alive or not. One way or another, Pakistan needs to look like it is taking action.
US and Pakistani officials admitted that the escape of militants from the bomb-making facilities was a “setback,” ABC News reported.
Pakistani officials made a “rare admission that some kind of collusion was possible.”
“There is a suspicion that perhaps there was a tip-off…It’s being looked into by our people, and certainly anybody involved will be taken to task,” a senior unnamed Pakistani official told the Washington Post.
Referring to efforts to revive intelligence cooperation between Pakistan and the US, another American official told The Washington Post: “We are willing to share, but you have to prove you will act. Some of your people are no longer fully under your control.”…