Terror camps targeting India spared from drone strikes in ISI-CIA deal
While US Navy seals in 2011 killed most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in an operation led by its external intelligence agency CIA, it has spared Islamabad-sponsored terrorist camps that wage war against India.
US media on Sunday reported that Pakistan’s ISI and CIA made a secret pact to facilitate drone strikes against selective terrorist targets. Citing excerpts of a soon-to-be released book, American media said Pakistan gave access to US drone strikes on condition they would not target nuclear facilities and terrorist camps where Kashmiri militants underwent training for attacks against India.
A New York Times report said back room bargains for covert drone wars began under George W Bush and was expanded by President Barack Obama. “Pakistani intelligence officials insisted they be allowed to approve each drone strike, giving them tight control over the list of targets. And they insisted that drones fly only in narrow parts of tribal areas — ensuring they would not venture where Islamabad did not want Americans going: Pakistan’s nuclear facilities and mountain camps where Kashmiri militants were being trained for attacks in India,” NYT reported, quoting excerpts from The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth.
The report said “the ISI and CIA agreed that all drone flights in Pakistan would operate under the CIA’s covert action authority — meaning the US would never acknowledge the missile strikes and Pakistan would either take credit for individual killings or remain silent”. The revelation came a day after a US Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center report that Lashkar-e-Toiba runs camps in Muzaffarabad for war against India.