Indo-Pak talks may figure in Bush-Aziz meet
The US-Pak bilateral ties and the ongoing Indo-Pak dialogue process are expected to figure during talks visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz would have with President George W Bush on Tuesday.
Aziz has arrived here for a hectic tour, the high point of which will be the White House meeting with Bush which will be followed by a working lunch hosted by the President.
The Bush-Aziz talks will be on different aspects of the growing bilateral relations including in its international context, especially as it pertains to the war on terrorism.
Regional issues and the ongoing dialogue with India are also expected to figure. On the non-political side, the President and the Prime Minister are likely to touch on trade and economic issues as also focus on the earthquake reconstruction efforts currently under way.
The talks in the White House as also other discussions Aziz is to have with senior officials of the Administration will also focus on US "unilateral" strikes inside Pakistan seeking sanctuaries and key figures of Al-Qaeda.
Aziz was quite emphatic in an interview yesterday that the Bush Administration has not been given permission nor has there been any understanding that the United States can go about on its own from the across the border in Afghanistan.
"We had no idea" that the January 13 strike was going to take place, Aziz told CNN's Late Edition stressing that the understanding between Islamabad and Washington is that they "will work together".
Aziz is also scheduled to meet Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretaries of State, Defence and Treasury and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz in Washington.