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U.S. congressional delegation meets President Musharraf in Pakistan

U.S. congressional delegation meets President Musharraf in Pakistan

The leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi arrived in Pakistan Saturday for talks with the country's president expected to touch on cooperation against Taliban and al-Qaida militants and U.S. aid to the South Asian country, officials said.
Pelosi and her congressional delegation touched down in the capital, Islamabad, Saturday afternoon and went straight for talks with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the U.S. Embassy and a government official said.
Neither the U.S. delegation nor Musharraf was scheduled to make any public comment after the meeting.
The visit coincides with concern in Pakistan about a U.S. bill that would link American aid for Pakistan's military with its commitment to combating resurgent Taliban militants.
The bill, one of a raft introduced this month after Democrats took control of Congress, would require President George W. Bush to certify that Islamabad is doing its utmost to counter Taliban operations in Pakistan and secure its border with Afghanistan.
Failure to do that would cut off some financial aid to Pakistan's military, though the president could waive the provision in the interests of U.S. national security.
The U.S. Senate has yet to consider it, and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State John Gastright said Friday in Islamabad that the Bush administration wanted the provision axed.
Gastright said Pelosi's decision to visit Pakistan with her first congressional delegation showed that she shared the U.S. government's keen interest in close ties with Pakistan and its military president.
"We'll want to work with her (Pelosi) so that she realizes that that provision is not necessary," Gastright said.
The U.S. delegation, which arrived in Pakistan after a stop in Iraq, was expected also to visit Afghanistan. Details of that leg of their trip have not been made public.


Updated : 2021-06-15 20:44 GMT+08:00