NEW YORK Despite a tormented relationship, the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies are working together on tactical operations, as the CIA extends its secret war beyond the mountainous tribal belt and deep into Pakistans sprawling cities, The New York Times reported Thursday. The CIA and its Pakistani counterpart, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, have a long and often tormented relationship. And even now, they are moving warily toward conflicting goals, with each manoeuvring to protect its influence after the shooting stops in Afghanistan, the newspaper said in a dispatch from Islamabad. Yet interviews in recent days show how they are working together on tactical operations..., the Times said. Beyond the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, CIA operatives working with the ISI have carried out dozens of raids throughout Pakistan over the past year, working from bases in the cities of Quetta, Peshawar and elsewhere, the newspaper quoted Pakistani security officials as saying. The raids often come after electronic intercepts by American spy satellites, or tips from Pakistani informants - and the spies from the two countries then sometimes drive in the same car to pick up their quarry. Sometimes the teams go on lengthy reconnaissance missions, with the ISI operatives packing sunscreen and neon glow sticks that allow them to identify their positions at night. The CIAs drone campaign in Pakistan is well known, which is striking given that this is a covert war. But these on-the-ground activities have been shrouded in secrecy because the Pakistani government has feared the public backlash against the close relationship with the Americans. The Times said a CIA spokesman declined to comment on its dispatch. Officials in Washington and Islamabad were cited as saying that the relationship between the two spy services has steadily improved since the low point of the summer of 2008, when the CIA suspected that the ISI was involved in the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul. The spy agencies have built trust in part through age-old tactics of espionage: killing or capturing each others enemies. A turning point came last August, when a CIA missile killed the militant leader Baitullah Mehsud as he lay on the roof of his compound in South Waziristan, his wife beside him massaging his back. Mehsud for more than a year had been responsible for a wave of terror attacks in Pakistani cities, and many inside the ISI were puzzled as to why the United States had not sought to kill him. Some even suspected he was an American, or Indian, agent. The drone attack on Mr. Mehsud is part of a joint war against militants in Pakistans tribal areas, where CIA drones pound militants from the air as Pakistani troops fight them on the ground, the dispatch said. And yet for two spy agencies with a long history of mistrust, the accommodation extends only so far. For instance, when it comes to the endgame in Afghanistan, where Pakistan hopes to play a significant role as a power broker, interviews with Pakistani and American intelligence officials in Islamabad and Washington reveal that the interests of the two sides remain far apart. Even as the ISI breaks up a number of Taliban cells, officials in Islamabad, Washington and Kabul hint that the ISIs goal seems to be to weaken the Taliban just enough to bring them to the negotiating table, but leaving them strong enough to represent Pakistani interests in a future Afghan government. This contrasts sharply with the American goal of battering the Taliban and strengthening Kabuls central government and security forces, even if American officials also recognise that political reconciliation with elements of the Taliban is likely to be part of any ultimate settlement. Tensions in the relationship surfaced in the days immediately after Mullah Baradars arrest, when the ISI refused to allow CIA officers to interrogate the Taliban leader. Americans have since been given access to the detention centre. On Wednesday, Pakistani and Afghan officials who met in Islamabad said that a deal was being worked out to transfer Mullah Baradar to Afghan custody, which could allow the Americans unrestrained access to him. Besides Mullah Baradar, several Taliban shadow governors and other senior leaders have been arrested inside Pakistan in recent weeks. A top American military officer in Afghanistan, who was not named, on Wednesday suggested that with the arrests, the ISI could be trying to accelerate the timetable for a negotiated settlement between the Taliban and the Afghan government. I dont know if theyre pushing anyone to the table, but they are certainly preparing the meal, the officer said.