Clinton to visit Pak soon to strengthen bilateral ties

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Washington, Oct.24 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would soon be visiting Pakistan with the aim to strengthen the strategic relationship between both countries.

Addressing mediapersons during a briefing here, US Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley said Clinton would meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other top leaders of the country.

Crowley, however, did not disclose the exact date of Clinton's visit.

"We are not going to announce specific dates for security reasons," The News quoted Crowley, as saying.

According to diplomatic sources, Clinton's visit comes at a time when anti-American sentiments in Pakistan were on an all time high and the top US diplomat would surely work to allay those negative perceptions.

"The secretary of state is visiting at a crucial time and the purpose of the visit is to strengthen the strategic partnership with Pakistan and assure long-term relations with Pakistan," sources said.

The ongoing dispute over the Kerry-Lugar legislation and the Army's reservations regarding it will also be part of Clinton's discussions with the Pakistani leadership during her tour.

Diplomatic sources said Clinton would try to assure various stakeholders that the US has no intentions of micromanaging Pakistan or enforcing unnecessary restrictions that could harm long-term relations.

Pakistan's concern over India's involvement in Afghanistan and Balochistan is also likely to be taken up with Clinton.(ANI)

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