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Pak general summoned to meeting on high seas

The United States is mounting pressure on Islamabad following a sharp increase in Islamist terror attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, reports Amit Baruah.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2008 00:44 IST
Amit Baruah

The United States is mounting pressure on Islamabad following a sharp increase in Islamist terror attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And in unusual ways.

Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, “secretly convened a highly unusual” meeting between American and Pakistani commanders on board the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday, The New York Times has reported.

Apart from Pakistan’s Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, top generals from the two armies were present at the meeting, said to be the second in the last one month.

Indian security officials confirmed the Indian Ocean meeting, and said the US “wanted to keep the pressure on Kayani”.

“The idea is to ratchet up the pressure on Pakistan. The Americans have deliberately leaked this story to an NYT reporter,” the officials took the view.

They went along with news reports that a previous meeting between Mullen and Kayani had been more confrontational, but added that the Pakistanis had now begun to act on American suggestions.

“Pakistan’s fear is that if they don’t tackle the militants, the Americans will come in and do it for them,” Indian officials added.