Pakistan’s top spy agency denied Saturday that it helped unmask the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad, dismissing speculation it was retaliating for a U.S. lawsuit linking the Pakistani intelligence chief to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.
An official with the Pakistani spy service warned that such allegations risk raising tensions between the already uneasy allies.
The CIA ordered its station chief out of Pakistan because his life was threatened after a Pakistani legal complaint revealed his name. His recall comes at a delicate time, as the White House presses Islamabad to rid its lawless tribal regions of safe havens for militants fighting in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is grappling with an exit strategy.
The station chief’s name was revealed by a Pakistani man threatening to sue the CIA over the deaths of his son and brother in a 2009 U.S. missile strike. The attorney involved with the legal complaint said he learned the name from Pakistani journalists. Pakistan’s spy agencies have kept ties to a number of Pakistani journalists as a way to influence coverage.