Islamabad Pakistani officials played down Tuesday a newspaper report suggesting "new levels of distrust" of their nation by the U.S. government, citing new details of the level to which Washington is spying on Pakistan.
"This is all bogus," a Pakistani intelligence official told CBS News about the Washington Post article based on a 178-page summary of the U.S. intelligence community's "black budget," which shows the U.S. has ramped-up its surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear arms while also revealing concerns over biological and chemical sites in the Asian nation.
The report also details U.S. efforts to assess the loyalty of counterterrorism sources recruited by the CIA in Pakistan.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry gave a brief official response, saying the nation remained "committed to non-proliferation."
The Post's report came at a time when both sides are busy putting together a framework for an orderly withdrawal of U.S. and other NATO troops from Afghanistan by end 2014 -- a plan that will require the cooperation of Pakistan's government and the use of its territory.
The Pakistani intelligence official, who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity, speculated that the intelligence report might have been leaked to the Post out of concerns in Washington over the expected retirement of General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Pakistan's army chief of staff who due to step down in late November after working closely with the U.S. for six years.
"This is a time when the U.S. is putting pressure on Pakistan. The U.S. is concerned about General Kayani's successor and the Americans want to make certain that the new chief of Pakistan's army works closely with America," said the official adding that "the relationship has had many ups and downs, but it remains fundamentally intact."
A senior western diplomat in Islamabad, who also asked not to be identified, told CBS News the U.S.-Pakistan relationship remains in "a difficult phase."
He noted that while Pakistan is keen to remain a close U.S. ally, and the U.S. needs Islamabad's cooperation to get out of Afghanistan, the "relationship really is surrounded by many disagreements, each of which are a source of concern in Washington."
The diplomat said the U.S. remains concerned over matters like Pakistan's nuclear arsenal amid reports that the country has manufactured as many as 120 nuclear warheads.
Additionally, alleged ties between Pakistan's army-run intelligence service, the ISI, and Islamic militants in the region "deeply worry the U.S.," according to the diplomat.
He added that in Washington, "the feeling is that this relationship has more pluses to offer than minuses."
"The concerns in the U.S. are not new," said the Pakistani intelligence official. "They have been around for many, many years, but the relationship has continued and I feel there is no immediate threat (to the U.S.-Pakistan relationship)."