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Pakistan to discuss anti-terror strategy with Holbrooke: official

Pakistan is expected to discuss a comprehensive strategy to tackle militancy and extremism in the region with US special envoy Richard Holbrooke who is due in Islamabad, the foreign office said.

world Updated: Feb 08, 2009 21:22 IST

Pakistan is expected to discuss a comprehensive strategy to tackle militancy and extremism in the region with US special envoy Richard Holbrooke who is due in Islamabad on Monday, the foreign office said.

President Barack Obama just two days after his inauguration last month named Holbrooke as special US representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Holbrooke is arriving on Monday on a three-day visit to Pakistan for meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and "in-depth talks" with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the foreign office said in a statement in Islamabad on Sunday.

"Pakistan has welcomed the appointment of Holbrooke and looks forward to the beginning of a process of constructive engagement with the United States, especially in the wake of assumption of office by President Obama and his team," it said.

"It is Pakistan's endeavour to develop a fresh perspective on issues of peace, security, stability and the development of the region and in particular address the issues of militancy, terrorism and extremism effectively, by adopting a comprehensive and holistic strategy", the statement said.

Key US ally Pakistan also looks forward to "further broadening and deepening of bilateral cooperation" with the United States, the statement added.

Holbrooke, the architect of the 1995 Dayton Accord that ended the three-year Bosnian war, will be responsible for implementing an integrated strategy in US policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, US officials have said.

Northwest Pakistan and its rugged tribal regions have been wracked by violence since hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants fled across the border to escape the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

Washington says Pakistan's border regions have become a safe haven for the Islamic militants waging an insurgency against international troops based across the border, accusing Islamabad of not doing enough to eliminate the threat.

Pakistan denies the charges. It has deployed thousands of troops in the tribal areas to fight Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.