What happens when PM Gilani chairs meeting with COAS, DG-ISI to finalise US ties?

As Grossman arrives, high-level huddle finalises strategy

By Kamran Yousaf

ISLAMABAD: The country’s top civil and military leadership finalised on Wednesday their strategy for re-engagement with the United States in light of new recommendations approved by parliament, as President Barack Obama’s point-man for the region landed in the capital for crucial talks.

Ahead of interactions between Pakistani and American officials, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani chaired a high-powered meeting, which was attended by key ministers as well as Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam.

“The meeting took stock of the recent developments in the region. They discussed matters related to Afghan peace and reconciliation and new terms of re-engagement with US/Nato/Isaf in accordance with the recommendations of parliament,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister House.

This was the second gathering of civil and military leadership in less than 10-days and was aimed at evolving a consensus on how to move forward after the US voiced reservations over some of the demands made by parliament.

All issues will figure in the talks when US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman, who is leading a delegation of senior officials, meets the country’s top leadership.

Grossman is the first senior American official to travel to Islamabad after parliament passed a new foreign policy framework that seeks to redefine the country’s relationship with Washington.

Grossman will hold formal talks with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. He will also meet Prime Minister Gilani and Army Chief Gen Kayani.

Ahead of Grossman’s visit, US Ambassador Cameron Munter dashed to Karachi on Wednesday and held an important meeting with President Zardari.

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Pakistan Entrapped

Islamic Radicalism: Pakistan Entrapped in A Vicious Circle of Militancy and Cowardice of the State

By Mujahid Husain

Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants have once again started attacking Pakistan, this time in a much organised manner. It was being said, after the successful military operations in tribal areas that Taliban and Al-Qaeda sympathizers have been chased away. But the reality is totally opposite to it. Indeed it is the Local and foreign militants who have driven away security forces and other peace-promoting organisations from there.

Militants are now focussing their attention on the suburbs of big towns and hamlets. They are easily making them their prey. Their successful operation of getting hundreds of dreaded inmates flee from Bannu jail, situated in the tribal area, is the latest example of their prowess. Adnan Rashid one of the most wanted and a dreaded attacker on the life of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was one of them. He was greeted with garlands in the jail campus by the attackers of the Bannu Jail. Garlands were specially brought for him by the miscreants. This incident proves militants’ planning, strength and their self confidence.

Taliban attackers kept celebrating their victory for two hours in the jail campus itself. In the meantime the police station and security forces of Bannu town kept themselves silently locked in their offices. They dare not try to interfere in the operation of the militant attackers.

After the jail break incident a private school of Peshawar came under their wrath. The school was attacked with hand grenades in which children were killed.

State government finds itself helpless in front of the terror organisation called ‘Lashkar-e-Islam’ which is active in the suburbs of Peshawar.

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India & Pakistan will sign a “liberalized visa agreement” next month in Islamabad

Soft Pak-India visa policy to be signed in May: Krishna

NEW DELHI: Indian’s Minister for External Affairs SM Krishna Wednesday said India and Pakistan will sign a “liberalized visa agreement” in May this year when secretaries of the two countries meet in Islamabad.

Speaking at the Lok Sabha on the April 8 daylong visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to India during which he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch, he said Pak-Indian secretary level talks are set in May in Islamabad, where liberalized visa policy will be given a go-ahead.

According to India media, the traders from the two sides of the border will be entitled to receive multiple visas for one year.

Also under the fresh policy, the traders from the two countries may receive visa of ten cities in the respective countries.

Courtesy: SAMAA TV

Via – twitter