Pak visit of US commander in Afghanistan postponed

Last Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 15:11

Islamabad: A visit to Pakistan by the US commander of foreign troops in Afghanistan, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed, the Pakistani military has said.

"Gen John Allen`s visit postponed. Fresh date of visit (to be announced) later," said a brief military statement that did not give any reasons for the postponement.

Allen, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, was scheduled to visit Islamabad today for talks with senior Pakistani military leaders on new border coordination measures and standing operation procedures.
Ahead of the proposed visit, Allen had said that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar was hiding in Pakistan and sending fighters to Afghanistan for attacks.

"Omar lives in Pakistan, as do many of his commanders," Allen wrote in an article in The Washington Post.

On the other hand, the Pakistani military has accused foreign and Afghan forces of not doing enough to stop cross-border raids by Pakistani Taliban fighters based in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.

The Taliban militants sneaked into Afghanistan to escape operations launched by the Pakistan Army.

Allen last visited Pakistan earlier this month and discussed border coordination with army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as relations between Islamabad and Washington improved after months of tension.

High level contacts between security officials of the two countries resumed after Pakistan reopened NATO supply lines to Afghanistan in July after a seven-month blockade.

The routes were closed last November after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a cross-border NATO air strike.

Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam visited the US this month and both sides had agreed to bring normal anti-terror cooperation back on track.

However, tensions between the two sides flared up after a string of US drone strikes in Pakistan`s lawless tribal belt.

PTI




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