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Pakistan extremism troubling to Mullen

April 27, 2009 at 1:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, is concerned with the escalating extremism threat in Pakistan, his spokesman says.

Mullen spokesman Capt. John Kirby said the Joint Chiefs chairman is particularly concerned with militant movement in Pakistan's Swat valley despite the presence of a peace treaty in the region, CNN reported Monday.

Kirby credited Mullen's early April visit to Pakistan with Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, for the chairman's increased interest in the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan. The Islamabad visit by Mullen marked his second Pakistan visit in three weeks.

The Mullen spokesman also told CNN the U.S. military feels confident Pakistan's nuclear weapons will not fall into militant hands, despite a claim from an unidentified senior U.S. military official that parts of northwest Pakistan appear to have fallen under militant control.

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