Top US commander arrives in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD, March 3 The top US military commander landed in Pakistan on Monday — his second visit to the country in a month — to talk with embattled President Pervez Musharraf and the military leadership.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Islamabad following a stop in Iraq over the weekend, said Elizabeth Colton, the spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Islamabad.
The back-to-back trips to Pakistan reflect the US concern that a growing insurgency by Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in the tribal areas, near the border with Afghanistan represents an increasing threat.
Last month, Admiral Mullen said the threat of religious extremism was growing in Pakistan and the country`s leadership was aware of the challenge facing the nation.
Admiral Mullen will meet with Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Gen Tariq Majid, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Admiral Mullen was likely to discuss US plans to send 22 American personnel to train elements of the Pakistani military in counter-insurgency and intelligence gathering techniques later this year.
The training — to be passed on to the Frontier Corps force — will also leave those troops better able to cooperate with US and Nato troops in Afghanistan, a US military official told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The US personnel are scheduled to arrive sometime between June and October, the official said. Current plans call for the US training to last two years and to be passed on to about 8,500 Frontier Corps troops.—AP