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Pakistan PM meets US Defence Secretary

The two officials met a day ahead of a planned meeting between the Pakistani leader and President George W Bush.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 09:19 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Pakistan's Prime Minister has met with Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a time of rising tensions between the two allies.

Thousands in Pakistan are demonstrating regularly to denounce a US airstrike that killed civilians earlier in January.

The two officials met on Monday, a day ahead of a planned meeting between the Pakistani leader, Shaukat Aziz, and President George W Bush.

Later, speaking to US businessmen, Aziz touted the investment climate in Pakistan. He said foreign investors are reaping 30 to 50 per cent profit increases annually.

He said foreign businesses invested $3 billion last year, up from $1.5 billion in 2004.

Relations between Islamabad and Washington have deteriorated since the January 13 attack that killed at least 13 civilians, including women and children. Anti-American rallies in Pakistan are entering their second week.

Aziz condemned the airstrike on Sunday, saying such attacks should be cleared with Islamabad before they are carried out.

US and Pakistani officials, he said, have no understanding that allows American military forces to attack alleged terrorists in Pakistan without first consulting the government.

"The understanding is that we will work together," Aziz told CNN's 'Late Edition'. "We will work in collaboration with each other."

Aziz said Pakistani officials were given no notice before the attack, which was believed to have been launched by a missile-firing Predator drone from Afghanistan.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 09:19 IST