Pakistan's ISI chief heads to US as ties flounder

July 13, 2011

Pakistan's military says its spy-agency chief has headed to Washington for previously unannounced talks, just days after the United States suspended one-third of the $2 billion in military aid it sends to Islamabad.

A Pakistani military statement says Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency commander Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha was going to Washington to "coordinate intelligence matters."

Few other details were available about his one-day trip.

The visit comes with the ISI under intense pressure to sever ties with militant groups -- including those it has long nurtured as assets in Afghanistan and India.

Relations between the intelligence establishments of the two countries have been on a downward spiral since January, when a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis in Lahore. Relations were further damaged in May by the killing of Osama bin Laden in a secret raid by U.S. special forces on a compound near a prestigious Pakistani military academy.

compiled from Reuters reports