Pak, US step up contacts to defuse tensions



Pak, US step up contacts to defuse tensions Islamabad: Pakistan and the US today stepped up contacts to defuse tensions triggered by American allegations that the ISI was waging a proxy war in Afghanistan through the Haqqani network, with US envoy Cameron Munter meeting Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir for the second time in as many days.

Munter met Bashir at the Foreign Ministry to discuss ways to reduce tensions and bring relations between the estranged allies in the war on terror back on an even keel, diplomatic sources said.

Munter had met the Foreign Secretary yesterday after his return from Washington.

Following yesterday's meeting, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said in a message posted on Twitter that the talks between the two officials were a follow-up to the meeting between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in the US on September 18.

"Both agreed on dialogue, deeper engagement at all levels," she said.

Pakistan and the US have had heated exchanges after American military chief Adm Mike Mullen accused the Inter-Services Intelligence of backing the Haqqani network in carrying out terror attacks in Afghanistan.

He described the Haqqani network as a "veritable arm" of the ISI.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik today said Pakistan expects the US and other allies to recognise its sacrifices in the war on terror as the country has lost 36,000 innocent lives and 68 billion dollars.

PTI