Mullen visits Pak unannounced, asks Kayani to get tough with militants

July 13th, 2008 - 1:25 pm ICT by ANI  


Islamabad, July 13 (ANI): US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen made an unscheduled visit to Islamabad and met Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, and asked Pakistan to act decisively against Taliban and al Qaeda militants suspected of mounting cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

During his brief stay, Admiral Mullen met the Kayani, and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Tariq Majeed, and discussed with them the latest situation in Afghanistan and joint efforts to deal with the challenge posed by terrorists in Fata.

Sources said that the US was deeply frustrated with Pakistans lack of ability or willingness, or both, to move decisively to end the rising infiltration by the Taliban militants into Afghanistan.

Recent reports in the US media claimed that the Bush Administration is considering using direct military force to stop the infiltration and it may use commando forces, besides direct missile attacks, on militants targets.

Admiral Mullen was here on a days visit and has already left, US embassy spokesperson Kay Mayfield told Dawn.

Pakistan Army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas would neither confirm nor deny the meeting, saying no meeting between Admiral Mullen and the Chief of the Army Staff was scheduled.

Sources said that Mullen conveyed to Pakistan military leaders the US government’’s growing frustration over Pakistan’’s inaction against Taliban militants in tribal areas.

Admiral Mullen reiterated Washinton’’s stance that these safe havens of the militants should be eliminated, emphasising that Pakistan’’s peace deals with terrorists were not achieving the desired results of isolating them and were rather aggravating the problem.

The sources quoted Mullen as complaining that militants were moving across the border with greater liberty now than during the previous government.

This was Mullen’’s fourth visit to Islamabad this year. But, contrary to his previous visits, this visit was kept in low profile and no official announcement was made.

During the meeting, Gen Kayani is reported to have protested at recent attacks in Angoor Adda and Mohmand Agency in which Pakistani troops were killed and injured.

The army chief recalled Pakistan’’s sacrifices in the war on terror and pledged that Pakistan’’s resolve against terrorism remained firm.

Kayani, the sources said, asked the US Admiral to share actionable intelligence against terrorists with the Pakistan Army. (ANI)

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