U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has expressed America's sympathy to the Pakistani people over the loss of more than 73,000 lives in the massive earthquake that hit the country in October.

Mr. Cheney met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad Tuesday and conveyed "deep sorrow and solidarity" with Pakistan.

Later, Mr. Cheney traveled to Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani part of divided Kashmir and the center of relief operations for millions of earthquake survivors.

The U.S. vice president is cutting short his planned visit to the Middle East and returning to Washington. The Associated Press quotes his spokesman as saying he will be on hand in the U.S. Senate to cast tie-breaking votes, if necessary.

Earlier, Mr. Cheney visited Iraq and Afghanistan, where he praised moves towards democracy and told American troops that the United States will not relent in its anti-terrorism campaign.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.