CIA will not halt operations in Pakistan: official

The Central Intelligence Agency has no plans to suspend “operations” in Pakistan against terror suspects despite objections from leaders in Islamabad, a US official said Thursday.

Pakistan has criticized missile strikes by US drone aircraft against Islamist militants in the country but CIA Director Leon Panetta has told intelligence officials that he has a duty to prevent attacks on the United States, the senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

“Panetta has been clear with his Pakistani counterparts that his fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, and he will not halt operations that support that objective,” the official said.

The CIA chief on Monday held several hours of talks at the agency’s headquarters outside Washington with Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.