February 26, 2011

WASHINGTON: Suffering irreparable loss after blowing up of Raymond Davis’ cover in Lahore, the American premier intelligence apparatus is contemplating a tit-for-tat trapping or targeting Pakistani counterparts serving as diplomats abroad.

Well-placed diplomatic sources told Online on condition of anonymity here on Thursday that they had noticed vibes clearly indicating level of frustration and annoyance, especially at the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) upon Islamabad’s constant denial to release Davis on blanket immunity.

According to the sources, putting Davis on trial in Pakistan on charges of double murder in Lahore is proving to be the loss of not just the cover of an agent but also that of a “key asset” in the intelligence jargon for CIA.

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“Therefore, it is unlikely that they (American intelligence apparatus) would let it go without returning it to the Pakistani counterparts one way or the other,” the sources added. “Easy prey of this revenge design of the Americans could be Pakistani intelligence staff serving abroad, chiefly in US, Europe, and Afghanistan,” the sources observed. This is already clear for sure that the so-called intelligence sharing in the war on terror has hit a moratorium due to Raymond Davis case.

The sources also informed Online that White House as well as State Department had already cancelled all official invitations to Pakistan’s Ambassador Hussain Haqqani here. “All the US administration outfits in the capital are also under instructions to seek clearance from the White House before interacting with Haqqani, even for official urgencies,” the sources added.

The sources also recalled that Ambassador Haqqani was summoned twice to White House for making demarche even before Senator John Kerry was dispatched to Pakistan for pleading Davis’ diplomatic immunity. The sources pointed out that envoys are generally summoned at the State Department for making demarche as per the diplomatic norms and practices in vogue. “The White House summoning Haqqani twice had clearly indicated that it was CIA’s pressure on the back,” the sources added.

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The row over the diplomatic immunity of Davis is still on between the two countries, bringing the bilateral relations to a historic low. The US is claiming diplomatic immunity to Davis while Pakistan is insisting that its courts would decide his status as well privilege, which has strained the relations. Analysts in US believe that ripples of Davis issue could lead to early elections in Pakistan. The incumbent term of the ruling PPP ends in February 2013.

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