US military chief to visit Pakistan for security talks
Military and Security 9/16/2008 12:04:00 PM
ISLAMABAD, Sept 16 (KUNA) — A US military chief is likely to visit Pakistan on Wednesday to hold security talks with his counterparts amid growing concern in Islamabad over repeated air and ground operations by US troops that have killed dozens and tribal people.
Admiral Michael Mullen is expected to arrive here on Wednesday on a two-day long visit, defence ministry sources told KUNA on Tuesday.
He will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, other senior military officials, as well as Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, said sources.
They said matters related to Pakistani-Afghan border security, war on terrorism and ground and air operations by US-led coalition troops will come under discussion.
The two sides will also exchange views on the new US strategy to fight terrorism, they added.
The visit by Admiral Mullen comes amid growing anxiety in the bordering tribal region where over 50 people, including women and children, were killed in US missile attacks.
Pakistani tribesmen on Monday vowed to join the Taliban if the US failed to stop cross-border attacks into their territory and threatened to target US bases in Afghanistan.
“We will also seek support from the tribal elders in Afghanistan to fight jointly against America,” they announced.
President Asif Ali Zardari is currently visiting London where is scheduled to hold talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and also likely to discuss the issue with him.
Pakistan‘s military chief Pervez Kayani earlier this week said that the Pakistani forces will defend its borders at all cost and no foreign troops will be allowed to launch operation inside Pakistani territory.
Two US military helicopters on Monday crossed into Pakistan and tried to land near Angor Adda area of South Waziristan tribal district along the Afghan border before dawn. However, according to press reports, they were forced back to Afghanistan by two jet planes of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). (end) amn.ema KUNA 161204 Sep 08NNNN