"Until the formal framework is agreed upon, the cooperation won't be like it was," said the Pakistani military official, referring to a time years ago when the two agencies shared information much more freely and conducted regular joint operations. "For the cooperation to continue, they have to agree on the framework."
One Pakistani official suggested the ISI is hoping to return to the days when the drone program started, when the agency was given more advanced warning of the targets. U.S. officials say that ended that when they found evidence the ISI was tipping targets off before the missiles struck.
Analysts who are critical of the ISI went farther, suggesting the ISI longs for the days when, thirty years ago, it was handed bags of American money and allowed to supervise a covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
The ISI "want a return to what they remember as 'Reagan rules,'" wrote Bruce Reidel of Brookings, who led President Obama's first review of its policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan. "By this they mean a C.I.A.-ISI relationship like that of the 1980s when the agency provided the Pakistani intelligence agency with money and arms to aid the mujahedeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan but left administration of the program and the running of the war to the ISI. A very small agency footprint -- fewer than 100 officers ran the entire program in Washington, Islamabad and Riyadh -- never threatened Pakistani sovereignty or dignity."
"The problem today," Reidel continued, "is we can't go back to this rosy world."
Pasha also told Panetta he was concerned the CIA was working with the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing in Afghanistan, according to one Pakistani official. It's not clear how Panetta responded to that accusation, which the Pakistanis have made for years. Pakistani fears that U.S., Afghan, and Indian intelligence officials plot inside Afghanistan against neighboring Pakistan has helped fuel distrust with not only the CIA but also with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government.
Today's drone strike was the first since the Pakistani military issued a rare rebuke following a particularly deadly strike last month that, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials, killed dozens of militants and tribal elders. It was only the eleventh strike since Davis was arrested two and a half months ago – roughly the same number of strikes as occurred in just two weeks in December – according to a tally kept by ABC News, based on information provided by local residents and intelligence officials.
The missiles struck the same house where, in 2003, a Pakistani military operation killed Ahmed Kadr, also known as Abu Abdurahman al-Kanadi, a Canadian al Qaeda financer who was close to Osama bin Laden. Al-Kanadi's older son Abdullah Ahmed is in Guantanamo Bay facing war crimes; his younger son Abdul Rahman was released from Guantanamo and is now living in Canada.
As part of the recent rift, the American and Pakistani governments are also discussing a special operations forces program in which U.S. service members train Pakistani paramilitary officers. A few hundred Americans have been training Pakistani Frontier Corps for more than two years with the consent of the Pakistani military.
Yesterday State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. is hoping to keep the program alive.
"There have been conversations that are ongoing between the U.S. and Pakistan about these kinds of requirements and also the force levels that are associated with them," Toner said, "but no decisions have been made."