Pakistan to U.S.: Reduce Your CIA Presence

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General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Photo: AFP

As if we don't have enough problems (see Libya, Japan, and Donald Trump for reference), now Pakistan is complaining that the U.S. needs to cut down its Central Intelligence Agency activities in the Southeast Asian country. Pakistan would like the U.S. to reduce the number of active CIA agents in the country and put on hold the CIA strikes on militants in the northwest of Pakistan. According to officials, Pakistan is asking for a 25 to 40 percent reduction in U.S. presence. That would mean around 335 American CIA officers, contractors, and Special Operations forces would need to leave the country.

The reductions were personally demanded by the chief of the Pakistani Army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and were said to be requested in response to the arrest of CIA security officer Raymond A. Davis, who killed two men in January, claiming they were trying to rob him. The incident couldn't have come at a worse time: The U.S. is frustrated at Pakistan's seeming ineptness at tackling Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the region. And Pakistan is distrustful of Washington, believing American officials are only interested in stripping the country of its nuclear arsenal. Said one American official who sat in on the talks with Kayani, Pakistanis would like “more visibility into some things ... and that request is being talked about.”

Pakistan Tells U.S. It Must Sharply Cut C.I.A. Activities [NYT]