Washington, Mar 17: The resolution of the Raymond Davis case may "help to cool tempers" between Pakistan's premier spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but their bilateral problems and differences will continue until Pakistan reorients its strategic calculus and acts against terrorist organisations like the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), noted South Asian affairs analyst Lisa Curtis has said.
"It is likely that the deal to release Davis in exchange for compensation to the victims' families was reached behind closed doors by Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the CIA," said Curtis, who is a Senior Research Fellow for South Asia at the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.
She said that while the resolution of the Davis case "may help to cool tempers between the ISI and CIA in the immediate term, but so long as Pakistan resists taking serious action against terrorist groups like the LeT, tensions in the relationship will persist."
Curtis pointed out that despite years of working closely to target al-Qaeda and other terrorists in Pakistan, relations between the ISI and CIA had begun to fray, partly over Pakistan's handling of the LeT, responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
"Pakistani-American David Headley, who was arrested in Chicago in October 2009 and later charged by a US court with facilitating the Mumbai attacks as well as a planned terror attack in Denmark, revealed to interrogators that he was in close contact with Pakistani intelligence," she added.
She noted that the CIA-ISI fallout found varying expressions, be it filing of a law suit in a New York court by relatives of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack victims against the ISI chief, or blowing the cover of CIA's Islamabad station head Jonathan Banks, leading to his recall.
"Washington is increasingly and rightly concerned about the global reach of the LeT and the potential for the group to conduct a Mumbai- type of attack on U. S. soil. It is highly likely that the CIA had recently sought to develop independent sources of secret information on the group in Pakistan to avert such a possibility," she opined.
Curtis said that although many analysts argue that the LeT is focused primarily on India and thus has little motivation to attack the US directly, the skill with which Headley operated in close collaboration with the LeT for so many years, has raised concern about the terrorist organisation's level of sophistication, and its potential capability to conduct an attack in the US.
She also expressed the fear that Davis' release could also heighten anti-American sentiments in Pakistan, especially if the news reports that the families were pressured into accepting the blood money gain traction.
"While one diplomatic dispute between the US and Pakistan has found resolution, the fundamental challenges to the relationship certainly remain," she noted. (ANI)