Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pakistan Army Chief in talks with NATO

Updated at: 1429 PST, Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BRUSSELS: NATO says that Pakistan's Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is in Brussels where he will hold talks with top alliance officials.

NATO gave no details of the agenda. However, the meeting comes as the U.S. presses for closer coordination of military and civilian efforts on both sides of the Pakistani-Afghan border.

Kayani last visited NATO in November, when he urged the alliance's military commanders to focus on winning the population's backing in those areas to prevent Taliban and al-Qaida militants from using them as safe havens.

Pakistan's army is engaged in a major offensive in the Swat valley and surrounding districts. The action follows American pressure to root out militant hideouts along the porous border.

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