Pak denies report about cancellation of Hillary`s visit

Pakistan has denied reports that US Hillary Clinton has cancelled her visit to the country.

Last Updated: May 11, 2011, 16:02 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan has denied reports that
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has cancelled her visit
to the country later this month in the wake of the killing of
Osama bin Laden in an American raid in the garrison city of
Abbottabad.

Reports in a section of the media yesterday had said that
Hillary had called off her visit in the face of fresh strains
in Pakistan-US ties after the killing of bin Laden.

Pakistan has described the US raid as a violation of its
sovereignty and pledged it will retaliate with "full force" if
a similar operation is carried out by American forces.

"To the contrary, Pakistan and the US are working to
hold another round of the Strategic Dialogue at the end of
May.

"We are still working on the dates but Secretary Clinton
will lead the US delegation," Foreign Office spokesperson
Tehmina Janjua told The News daily.

However, a proposed visit to Pakistan by US President
Barack Obama appears unlikely to go ahead due to the strains
in bilateral ties.

Interacting with the media yesterday, Foreign Secretary
Salman Bashir said that Obama`s visit to Pakistan had not been
postponed though no date for it has been confirmed as yet.

Since the killing of bin Laden in a compound located a
short distance from the Pakistan Military Academy, US leaders,
including Obama, have called on Pakistan to investigate
whether the al Qaeda leader had a support network in the
country.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has dismissed as
"absurd" all allegations that Pakistan`s security forces had
failed to trace bin Laden because they were complicit or
incompetent.

In a separate development, Foreign Office spokesperson
Janjua said Pakistan had not yet received any formal request
from the US for access to bin Laden`s three widows and several
children.

Janjua said no request for extradition or consular
access had been received from Yemen or Saudi Arabia the
country of origin of the widows and children.

PTI