CIA’s Pakistan chief leaves Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: The CIA station chief who ran operations in Pakistan during the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden left Islamabad due to illness.The CIA declined to comment on the matter. “The chief of station is a respected, senior officer who had the full faith and confidence of folks back in Washington,” a US official said.

His departure was first reported by ABC News. The man cannot be named because he is undercover.The station chief guided operations through a troubled time in US-Pakistani relations.Documents released by WikiLeaks showed Pakistani officials backing CIA drone strikes in their territory against Al-Qaeda, while CIA contractor Raymond Davis’ killing of two Pakistani men he said were trying to rob him frayed relations.

Then came the May 2 raid on Bin Laden’s compound.American officials say the CIA chief clashed with Ambassador Cameron Munter, who objected to CIA drone strikes during diplomatic negotiations. Officials spoke anonymously to discuss personnel matters.US and Pakistani officials hope the station chief’s exit will lead to improved relations between Pakistan’s ISI and the CIA, he had an “extremely tense” relationship with his ISI counterparts including Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the director general.It was the second such departure in seven months from the post, after his predecessor was forced to leave when a Pakistani official admitted his name had been leaked. – Arabnews