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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top Pentagon Official in Surprise Visit to Pakistan

Joint Chiefs Chair Make Surprise Visit To Pakistan Amid Mounting Tensions
Published: September 16, 2008
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, America’s top military official, made a hastily arranged visit to Pakistan on Tuesday for talks about a recent incursion by American commandos based in neighboring Afghanistan.

The visit by the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, came as an uproar continued to grow in Pakistan about the incursion on Sept. 3, which severely strained relations between the United States and Pakistan, its top Muslim ally in the war against terrorism. The visit also coincided with conflicting accounts about a possible second American raid on Monday, as well as a warning by the Pakistan military that it would shoot at any foreign forces who crossed the border.
A Pakistani military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, said the army reserved the right to use force to defend the country and its people, but he said there was “no change in policy.”
Asked what the Pakistan military would do if there was a future incursion by American troops, he said: “There is a big if involved. We will see to it when such a situation arises.”


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