//CIA team coming to India to take stock of terror situation

CIA team coming to India to take stock of terror situation

2006-10-20

New Delhi, October 20, As India prepares a dossier on terror to share with Pakistan in an effort to take forward the Havana understanding, a top CIA team, headed by its Deputy Director of Intelligence Carmen Medina, is coming here next week to discuss the terror situation in India following the Mumbai train blasts as well as the Pakistan linkage.

Sources said both sides would also discuss the security situation in Afghanistan.It’s learnt that Medina is being accompanied by Nancy Powell, who is the intelligence officer in-charge of South Asia in the National Intelligence Council that is responsible for co-ordinating information from across the US intelligence community. This visit comes within weeks of US Ambassador to India David Mulford saying Washington was in close contact with New Delhi on investigations in the Mumbai blasts where the police claimed that ISI was behind the plan.

Following this, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns is also slated to come on November 10-11 on what is being framed as a bilateral visit to meet new Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon. While his talks with Menon will focus on terror and security cooperation, Burns will hold separate talks with PM’s Special envoy Shyam Saran on the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

While officials are tight lipped about the visit by CIA and other US intelligence officials, sources said that Medina and Powell would hold crucial meetings with senior diplomats and intelligence officials here. Meetings with National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Menon are also being worked out. The official meetings, sources said, are being slotted Monday on.

Medina is among the top three officials of the CIA and heads the Directorate of Intelligence. Sources said she would also discuss Washington’s approach to the security situation in Afghanistan. India has serious concerns over the deal Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has struck in Waziristan