Pakistan’s top leadership meets ahead of US talksBy IANS
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s top political and military leadership met Wednesday to discuss the internal security scenario ahead of crucial talks with visiting US National Security Advisor James Jones and CIA director Leon Panetta.
Jones and Panetta arrived here Tuesday evening on a two-day visit.
Quoting sources in the presidency, Online news agency reported that the meeting discussed the agenda of talks with the US delegation “so that the government and military leadership are on the same level”.
Detailed discussions were held on the security situation in the country, results of Operation Rah-e-Rast against the Taliban in South Waziristan, the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan-US relations and the war against terror.
Chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari, the meeting was attended by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The sources told Online the meeting of the troika prior to the talks with Jones and Panetta was “unusual and quite significant”.
The probe into the attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square, for which Pakistani American Faisal Shahzad has been arrested, is expected to top the agenda during the talks the visiting US officials hold with the Pakistani troika.
The discussions would also focus on concerns about future terrorist attacks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning Islamabad of “severe consequences” if any more terrorist attacks on the US were found to have been sourced from Pakistan.
The CIA and Pakistan’s intelligence agencies would also share the results of their respective investigations on Shahzad and his ties with militant groups in Pakistan, the sources said.
The US media has quoted officials as saying that Jones and Panetta intend to reiterate to the Pakistanis the importance the Obama administration places on more aggressive military action against groups allied with the Al Qaeda in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
“In light of the failed Times Square terrorist attack and other terrorist attacks that trace to the border region, we believe that it is time to redouble our efforts with our allies in Pakistan to close this safe haven and create an environment where we and the Pakistani people can lead safe and productive lives,” National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement.