Pak, US officials discuss the regional security

Islamabad: Senior US and Pakistani defence and military officials met in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Monday to discuss the regional security environment and the situation along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The meeting of the Pakistan-US Defence Consultative Group, held at the Ministry of Defence, is part of efforts by the two countries to place their relationship on an even keel after a strong of crises, including the unilateral American raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a cross-border NATO air strike last year.

The two-day meet will review defence cooperation between the two countries and progress on decisions made at earlier meetings of the Defence Consultative Group, officials said.

The talks will also focus on the regional security environment and challenges faced along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The 25-member US delegation participating in the talks is led by James Miller, Under Secretary of Defence for Policy.

Miller and US Ambassador Richard Olson met Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retired) Asif Yasin Malik before the start of the meeting.

The two sides will finalise a schedule for future meetings, officials said.