No Deal Reached, Panetta Leaves Pakistan in Failure

Talks With Army Chief, ISI Head See No Progress

CIA chief and likely incoming Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has left Pakistan today after his high profile weekend visit to Pakistan ended with a failure to achieve any concessions from either the nation’s military chief or ISI head.

Panetta arrived in Pakistan on Friday and immediately accused the Zardari government of harboring elements that are secretly colluding with militants. Defense Secretary Robert Gates continued this theme today, expressing regret over sharing information with the country.

As with several other high profile Pakistan visits, Panetta’s was ostensibly aimed at improving ties with the nation, with an undercurrent of issuing new demands to the nation’s military. Officials said Panetta was surprisied at the “rigidity” of Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Parvez Kayani.

But perhaps he oughtn’t be. Each recent visit by officials has ended exactly the same way, with officials issuing demands, making accusations, and departing with relations even worse than they were before. In that respect Panetta’s visit was more of the same.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.