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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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