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Mullen Meets With Pakistani Leaders

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 12, 2008 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders here today to discuss issues concerning Pakistan’s lack of pressure toward insurgents flowing from its border into Afghanistan.

During Navy Adm. Mike Mullen’s brief stop in Pakistan, which lasted less than a day, he met with President Pervez Musharraf; Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani; Mahmud Ali Durrani, national security advisor to the prime minister; and army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The admiral discussed a wide array of security issues, along with his growing concern for the lack of pressure on Pakistan’s side of the border, Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman for Mullen, said.

U.S. military officials attribute the border issue as one of the main causes for the recent spike in violence throughout southern and eastern Afghanistan.

The chairman has kept the details of these discussions private, but stressed that Pakistan’s leaders are aware of U.S. concerns and the challenges both countries face in the border region. Pakistani officials said they are working to address those challenges, Kirby said.

“The new Pakistan government has a very difficult challenge and continues to work its way through, but has to enforce making sure foreign fighters don’t exist out there and make sure the insurgents don’t have the freedom of movement across the border,” Mullen said during an interview with reporters July 10 in Afghanistan.

Mullen later said he was pleased with the outcome of his meetings today and looks forward to taking any opportunity to meet with Pakistani leaders.

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Navy Adm. Mike Mullen

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