Pakistan's intelligence chief is visiting Washington for talks with U.S. officials, days after the United States decided to suspend $800 million in aid to Pakistan.
Ahmad Shuja Pasha is expected to meet with acting CIA Director Michael Morell and other officials on Thursday. The Pakistani military says the talks will be held to coordinate intelligence matters.
Meanwhile, the outgoing commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and incoming CIA director, General David Petraeus, met with Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in Islamabad Thursday. The Pakistani military says the two discussed matters of "professional interest." Kayani held talks with the head of U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis, the day before.
The meetings follow comments made Wednesday by Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who expressed concern about the U.S. decision to suspend one-third of its annual military aid to his country. Gilani said that while the fight against militants on Pakistani territory is Pakistan's war, the country's efforts are benefiting the whole world.
Relations between the United States and Pakistan have been strained since the covert U.S. raid deep into Pakistani territory that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on May 2.
A Pentagon spokesman, Colonel David Lapan, said earlier this week the decision to withhold a third of its military aid to Pakistan is in response to Islamabad's decision to expel American military trainers and put limits on visas for U.S. personnel.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.