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Admiral Mike Mullen persuades Pak to take action

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, on a second visit to Islamabad since the Mumbai terror attacks, has persuaded the country to do more to address India's concerns on terrorists operating from its soil in order to defuse tensions between the two nations.

world Updated: Dec 23, 2008 10:24 IST

America's top military official, on a second visit to Islamabad since the Mumbai terror attacks, has persuaded the country to do more to address India's concerns on terrorists operating from its soil in order to defuse tensions between the two nations.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is believed to have stressed the need for Pakistan to do more to address India's concerns, including action against elements linked to the Mumbai attacks, during his meetings with the country's top military leadership yesterday.

Diplomatic sources said the tensions between India and Pakistan and ensuring Islamabad's cooperation to nab the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks was the focus of Mullen's two day visit.

Mullen met army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency yesterday.

US embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said Mullen is visiting for "scheduled meetings with senior Pakistani officials on regional issues". Mullen is expected to meet President Asif Ali Zardari today.

However, the influential Dawn newspaper reported Mullen was "on a mission to urge Pakistan to arrest elements accused by India of being involved in last month's Mumbai attacks for cooling down the mounting tension between the two countries".

The newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that Mullen "might have sought commitments from the Pakistani leadership on the Indian demands which are also a pre-condition for resuming the peace process" between the two countries.

The role of the ISI was also discussed by Mullen, who is believed to have reiterated the US's demand for bringing the spy agency under civilian control.

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