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No ease in Pakistan-U.S. spy war

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb 28,IRNA -- No ease is imminent in the current war between the Pakistani and its ally the United States over the secret mission of an American undercover agent, who is now facing double murder charges.

Raymond Davis, employee of the U.S. in Lahore, shot dead two Pakistanis on Jan. 27, claiming that he had acted in self-defence. Davis was later arrested as his car was stuck up in the traffic after his brazen attack. Another Pakistani was crushed to death by the U.S. consulate car, when it arrived at the scene for Davis help.

Pakistan spy agency Inter-services intelligence or ISI has confirmed that Davis is a CIA agent and was on a secret mission and also in contact with some elements in the militants-infested Waziristan tribal region.

After revelation that Davis is an undercover CIA agent the ISI has now started scrutiny of the U.S. employees in Pakistan and asked the CIA to provide details of their agents working in Pakistan.

The U.S. media has reported that the CIA has now suspended all contacts with the ISI show that the Davis controversy has pushed the two close allies to a clash of interest and the already mistrust has further deepened.

Pakistani media reported that Davis arrest has affected the CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region. Pakistan and the U.S. media report that Davis was a source of receiving information from his contacts in Waziristan for drone strikes. There has been only one strike in North Waziristan over the past month. The second was in South Waziristan during the same period.

No immediate relief is in sight for the U.S. killer as the court in Lahore has set March 3rd for formally chargesheeting Davis in murder of two Pakistanis. On last hearing on Friday. Davis refused to sign the chargesheet.

The controversy has already badly hit ties between the two anti-terror allies and the U.S. suspended high level talks with Pakistan and had cancelled a planned tri-partite meeting in Washington scheduled to be held this month. The trilateral meting, also involving Afghanistan, was to be hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss Afghanistan. The meeting was important as the U.S. will begin phased withdrawal this year and wants to see some solid progress.

The American intelligence operators would be the main losers in this war of words as they are in a dire need of intelligence sharing from their Pakistani counterparts. And Pakistanis would be unwilling to extend any help after disclosure that the U.S. may have spread a net of undercover agents in Pakistan. It is believed that the conflict may also have negative impact on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan which also include Pakistan's possible role to use its influence on Afghan Taliban.

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