Pakistani Intel chief to visit U.S.

July 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 29 (UPI) -- U.S. drone strikes is among issues the head of Pakistan's top intelligence agency is expected to discuss during his Washington trip, Pakistan state TV said.

During his three-day U.S. visit starting Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Zaheer ul-Islam, who was appointed head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence in March, will hold talks with David Petraeus, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Pakistani military statement said, the Press TV reported.

"This will be a service-to-service bilateral visit" during which ul-Islam will meet with his counterpart, Petraeus, the statement said.

The visit comes as both countries work to resolve various issues that have strained bilateral relations since the killing last year of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces in Abbottabad, near Pakistan's capital of Islamabad.

Pakistan has been pressing the United States to end its suspected drone strikes that target militant hideouts in its tribal areas, saying they also take a civilian toll, further fomenting anti-U.S. sentiments.

Early this month, Pakistan agreed to reopen its overland routes used for supplying NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan after a U.S. apology. The routes were closed last November after U.S. planes inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in an air strike.

China's Xinhua News Agency quoted Pakistani media that the ISI director general would also discuss matters related to counter-terrorism cooperation with Petraeus, and other senior U.S. officials.

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