Hillary Clinton calls on Pakistani army chief

15:12, October 30, 2009      

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The visiting United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Thursday evening, according to local media reports Friday.

Issues relating to security situation in the region especially at Pak-Afghan border and Pakistan's recent offensive against Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in South Waziristan tribal agency were discussed in the meeting, local TV channel GEO News reported.

Hillary Clinton appreciated the professional capabilities of Pakistan army for defeating and dismantling the militants’ network in Swat and Malakand division in the North West Frontier Province and assured Kayani that the U.S. will further strengthen its existing defense and strategic ties with Pakistan.

Sources said that during the meeting, Kayani also raised the issue of drone attacks and informed Hillary Clinton about the stance of general public and army in this connection, according to local newspaper The Nation.

Kayani also informed Clinton about the Pakistan's army reservations on removal of checkposts by NATO forces in Afghan area bordering Pakistan as soon as Pakistan army had launched military operation against militants in South Waziristan.

Sources said that during the meeting Hillary Clinton was urged to respect and ensure sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan in war against terrorism.

It was also urged that U.S. must take measures to provide drone technology and modern equipment and devices to Pakistan for the complete elimination of terrorism and extremism from the region.

Matters relating to Kerry-Lugar Act which will offer 7.5 billion U.S. dollars in aid to Pakistan over the next five years and secret information sharing also came under discussion, source sadded.

Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday morning on her three-day trip to Pakistan. She also met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani respectively on Wednesday evening.

Source: Xinhua
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