CIA chief to persuade Pak to allow India a greater role in AfPak

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Islamabad, June 22 (ANI): The United States' Central Intelligence Agency chief, Leon E Panetta, will visit Pakistan soon in a bid to persuade Islamabad to let New Delhi play an important role in the US-led counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Though US Embassy declined to comment on the matter officially, The Nation's diplomatic sources revealed that Panetta, in line with US AfPak policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, would discuss these proposals with Pakistani authorities during his upcoming visit.

According to sources, Pakistan had previously resisted US pressure to agree to give a free hand to India in Afghanistan.

Pakistan, however, insisted on a bilateral mechanism evolved by Islamabad and New Delhi to fight terrorism jointly, they added.

Since the US AfPak policy envisages a greater role of regional powers in counter-terrorism efforts, Pakistan has stepped up its attempts to woo the support of major powers other than India, including China, Russia and Iran.

Pakistan attempted to get the support of China and the Russian Federation at the recent SCO summit held in Moscow, defense analysts said.

They also viewed the daylong visit of the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to Russia on Sunday as a significant development in this regard. (ANI)

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