* Defence secretary says Islamabad has ‘complete’ list of CIA agents in Pakistan
* US, UK against Pakistan’s nuclear programme
ISLAMABAD: Defence Secretary Lt General (r) Asif Yaseen Malik on Friday said that the US is using the spy agencies of other countries against Pakistan.
Speaking to a select group of journalists at the Defence Ministry, the defence secretary said Pakistan had complete information about the CIA agents working in the country. He said Pakistan has been informed by the US regarding presence of the CIA agents.
He added that no country was allowed to work undercover in the country. “The CIA also uses the agencies of other countries.” He said the US and Britain are against the nuclear assets of Pakistan, adding that America is using agencies of other countries against the country.
General Asif said there is no formal agreement between CIA and the ISI for secret operation. He said 95 percent of the defence policy is made by the three defence services on the basis of mutual consultation. He added that negotiations were going on for the replacement of spy aircraft that were damaged in attacks on Mehran and Kamra bases.
Malik noted that after the case of Raymond Davis, the question of US agents was talk of the town in Pakistan and public wanted to know about it. The defence secretary said that compared to the past, the US tone with Pakistan has changed due to some dynamics. Pakistan developed ties with US on mutual interest basis, he said, adding that the country renewed its ties with the US after it restored NATO supplies suspended in November last year when NATO airstrike in Salala caused deaths of Pakistani soldiers.
Malik noted that the Pakistani and US officials have on several occasions said that irritants in the ties between the two countries have been minimised and they are developing on a positive trajectory. In response to a question, he said that the Defence Ministry had not received any order from the Law Ministry on former army chief Gen (r) Aslam Baig and former ISI DG Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani in the Asghar Khan case.
Nevertheless, he said no objection could be raised if the civilian government takes action against them. The secretary clarified that there is no political cell in the ISI. To a question on operation in the North Waziristan, Malik said that Pakistan has the capacity to launch an operation in the area but doing so without sealing the Afghan border is not fruitful.
On the condition of the Pakistan International Airlines, he said that new airplanes were provided to the PIA and the government released 4-8 million dollars to it. Since September PIA has been earning profit and losses have been controlled, he further said. The debt against PIA was Rs 42 billion in 2008 but has now risen to Rs 152 billion, he said. “Government is working on a policy to get the PIA out of loss,” he said.
(www.dailytimes.com.pk / 29.12.2012)