Clinton in Pakisan: focus on frayed US-Pak relations

Hillary Clinton speech
Islamabad, May 27: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Pakistan on a day-long surprise visit and met with country's top civil and military leadership to mend badly frayed relations between the two countries.

Clinton and US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, who arrived in Islamabad last night, held crucial talks with Pakistani leaders aimed at easing tensions caused by the the American raid that killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in the Abbottabad hideout, just 80 km from the federal capital.

The Secretary of State called on President Asif Ali Zardari this morning and discussed "issues related to security and Pakistan-US ties in the current scenario", an official of the presidency said.

The one-on-one meeting between Clinton and Zardari lasted half an hour and was followed by delegation-level talks, the official said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir joined the delegation-level talks.

Clinton and Mullen are the highest ranking US officials to confer with Pakistani leaders since the Osama raid and told Islamabad to show renewed commitment to flush out terrorists from the country and eliminate their sanctuaries.

The meetings were held in extremely tight security and the Secretary of State''s visit was not announced in advance for fear of attempts on her life. 


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