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Hillary Clinton meets Pakistani President, army chief

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 27,IRNA -- Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Islamabad on unannounced visit on Friday, opened talks with top Pakistani leadership to remove the mistrust caused by unilateral action by the US forces to kill Osama bin Laden on May, officials said.

Hillary Clinton began his visit with meeting with President, Asif Ali Zardari to discuss ways how to revive normal ties between the close allies, that are also kept to stability in Afghanistan, sources in the President House said.

Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani and the Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, head of the intelligence, Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar are also attending the meeting, the sources said.

The US Secretary of State is scheduled to meet opposition leader Nawaz Sharif during her few hours trip to Pakistan, sources said.

The visit of the US Secretary of State had been kept secret over security reasons and the Pakistan Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied local media reports about her visit. The US embassy had also not confirmed reports about her visit.

It is Clinton's first visit to Pakistan after the death of Osama bin Laden in the US raid, which caused rift in relations between the two close allies in the war on terror.

The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Admiral Mike Mullen arrived in Pakistan late Thursday night and joined Hilary Clinton in talks.

Sources said both sides are discussing ways to put relationship on track after the US operation to kill the al-Qaeda Chief.

The CIA chief had said a day after the killing of Osama bin Laden that Pakistan either involved in sheltering Osama or incompetent to get information about his hideout in a major Pakistani city.

The US action had sparked widespread protest in Pakistan and the parliament in an unanimous resolution and top leadership had condemned the US unilateral action and termed it as attack on sovereignty.

Pakistani government is under tremendous pressure to revisit its relationship with the US after the 40-minute operation without informing Pakistan.

Hillary Clinton is the fourth senior US official to visit Pakistan after Osama death to try to revive the relationship on track.

Three US delegations visited Pakistan over the past two weeks – one led by influential senator John Kerry, the second by US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman and the other by CIA deputy chief Mark Morrell.

The meetings were meant to lay the groundwork for Secretary Clinton’s visit, media reports said.

She arrived at a time when US media has reported that Pakistan will allow a CIA team to search the Osama bin Laden compound, which had been closed since his death.

Reports also said that Pakistan has closed several CIA secret centers in Pakistan.

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