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24 Sep, 2010 13:11

Foreign intelligence in Pakistan long since known to authorities – analyst

The CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies have been working in Pakistan for some time now, says political analyst Ahmed Quraishi, and it is no news to the authorities.

Recalling a ten-month old attack on a CIA outstation in Pakistan which involved an agent working for the Jordanian intelligence, Quraishi said the incident became the first indication that: “there are incursions taking place in Pakistan and that the war on terror in the border region of Pakistan is not limited to occasional aerial attacks, CIA-led drone attacks, but that as a matter of fact there is concerted ground activity, not just by the CIA.”

Recently, journalist Bob Woodward wrote a book titled “Obama's Wars,” which explored the CIA’s use of Afghan fighters to hunt Al-Qaeda and the Taliban by infiltrating Pakistani territory, where US troops are not allowed to operate.

The book claims there might be as many as 3,000 Afghan assassins who have been trained and funded by the CIA and are working clandestinely in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Obama’s Wars” has not yet been released, but has already spurred controversy and heated debates.

However, Quraishi says that, though the book may be a revelation to the public, the fact of foreign intelligence presence in Pakistan has long been known to the country’s authorities.

This thing has been going on for some time and it would be unfair to say that this activity has been going on without the knowledge of at least some parts of the Pakistani political or military establishment,” Quraishi said. “This would be a shocker, of course, for the Pakistani public opinion, but I am not sure that this would be a big shock to the Pakistani military establishment.