Global Insider: U.S.-Pakistan Security Relations

In March, Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot and killed two men rumored to be agents of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, was released in return for a $2 million payment to the victims' families. In an email interview, Shaun Gregory, a professor at Bradford University and director of the Pakistan Security Research Unit there, discussed relations between the CIA and ISI.

WPR: What are the main areas of cooperation -- and mistrust -- between the CIA and ISI?

Shaun Gregory: The interests of the CIA and ISI most closely converge around the fight against al-Qaida as well as against the Mehsud Pakistani Taliban and some of the "Punjabi" Taliban groups -- such as Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and others -- that threaten the Pakistani state. By contrast, they have no convergence of interest around combating the main Afghan Taliban groups based in Pakistan -- the Quetta Shura, Peshawar Shura, Miran Shah Shura -- or the foot soldiers loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Pakistan's Afghan proxy. The same holds for those "Punjabi" and other groups -- such as Lashkar-e-Toiba or Sipah-e-Sahaba -- that serve Pakistan's internal or regional security objectives but are a threat to the United States and its interests. The complex and fluid relationships between these groups make counterintelligence cooperation between the CIA and ISI delicate, provisional and dangerous.

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