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Top US Military Official Visits Pakistan Amid Tensions


U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, left, listens to Pakistan's Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne during a meeting in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, April 20, 2011

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, left, listens to Pakistan's Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne during a meeting in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, April 20, 2011

The top U.S. military officer is in Pakistan to meet with leaders and discuss concerns about ties between militants and the country's intelligence service.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Islamabad Wednesday for a two-day visit.

Mullen said Tuesday during a visit to Afghanistan that he will address the relationship between the Haqqani network and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

He said the talks will include a meeting with Pakistani Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani.

The visit comes amid tensions between the two countries following the arrest of a CIA contractor in Pakistan, a series of deadly drone attacks in Pakistan's northwest, and a White House report that criticized Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts.

U.S. officials have never publicly acknowledged the use of drone strikes inside Pakistan, but privately they have confirmed their existence to various news outlets.

On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for an end to the drone attacks, saying the United States should share intelligence so Pakistan can take action against terrorists on its own soil.

His comments came during a meeting in Islamabad with a U.S. congressional delegation led by the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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