Amidst deepening political crisis in Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has tried to bring down the tempers between the two rival camps by making personal calls to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari and his main political rival and former premier Nawaz Sharif.
During her unusually long conversation with Zardari and Sharif, Clinton is understood to have asked the two leaders not to reach a point of no return and insisted that at a time when they are fighting a tough battle against extremism, it is not in the best interest of the country and the US as well to create another round of political instability in Pakistan.
The Secretary of State is believed to have urged both the leaders to settle their differences through negotiations and not on the streets of Pakistan, which would further destabilize the situation in the country.
The result of Clinton's intervention at the highest level would be known in the coming days only, as situation continued to be tense in cities across Pakistan.
Clinton's call was preceded by several rounds of calls placed by Richard Holbrooke, the Special US Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson in the past few days. It also included a three-way conference call involving Zardari, Patterson and Holbrooke.