Holbrooke telephones Zardari, Mullen meets Pakistani top brass

April 24th, 2009 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Richard Holbrooke Islamabad, April 23 (IANS) US special envoy Richard Holbrooke Thursday telephoned Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the ongoing war against terror as America’s top military commander continued his meetings with senior military officers here.
According to a presidential spokesman, Zardari and Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, also discussed the regional situation and the president’s visit to the US next month.

During the telephonic conversation, Zardari said Pakistan had been a frontline state in the war against terror and the world community should address the country’s concerns and reciprocate in economic terms, Geo TV reported.

Holbrooke responded that the US would not leave Pakistan in the lurch and both countries would take fight against extremism to its logical conclusion.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has told Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, that material support by the international community, particularly the US, to its security forces was crucial for the success of the war against terrorism, Dawn News channel said.

Mullen held separate meetings with his counterpart, General Tariq Majeed, and Pakistan Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman and discussed matters related to the war against terror.

During the meetings, Mullen was briefed on the requirements of the armed forces in fighting militancy, the channel quoted military sources as saying.

Lauding the role of the Pakistani forces in fighting terrorism, Mullen assured full cooperation of the US in overcoming the militants operating along the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Holbrooke’s call and Mullen’s meeting came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused the Pakistani government of “abdicating to the Taliban” and warned that the deterioration of security in the country poses a “mortal threat” to the US and the world.

“I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists,” Clinton said in an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday, her first since being confirmed.

Warning that Pakistan is in danger of falling into terrorist hands because of failed government policies, she said the deterioration of security in nuclear-armed Pakistan “poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world.”

Clinton’s warning came as Taliban militants, who implemented Islamic laws in Pakistan’s violence-plagued Swat Valley last week, have taken control of a neighbouring district just 100 km from Islamabad.

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