ISLAMABAD: US general David Petraeus on Monday visited Pakistan and held talks with its army chief on ways to bolster regional security, the US embassy said in a statement.
“Gen. David H. Petraeus, Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, visited Pakistan today to meet with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff,” the embassy said.
“They discussed topics of mutual interest and ways to improve regional security,” it said in a statement.
This is Petraeus’ sixth visit to Pakistan as the NATO ISAF commander, it said.
“He has long-established relationships with General Kayani and the Pakistani military from his time as the U.S. Central Command commander,” the statement said, adding that his last visit to Pakistan was January 31, 2011.
On Saturday Kayani said his forces had inflicted deep wounds on the Islamist rebellion after the United States had criticised the country’s efforts to quell Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents holed-up in its tribal belt.
“The terrorists’ backbone has been broken and God willing we will soon prevail,” Kayani said in a speech at a passing-out parade at the Pakistan Military Academy in northwestern garrison town of Abbottabad.
The White House this month criticised Pakistan’s efforts to defeat the Taliban in its border regions with Afghanistan, in a report immediately rejected by Islamabad.
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, subsequently accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of having ties with the Afghan Taliban in the northwestern tribal belt.