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Clinton takes stern message to Pakistan in wake of Osama bin Laden's death

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, leaves a news conference Friday in Islamabad. Clinton said Pakistan must make “decisive steps” in days ahead to fight terrorism.

Associated Press

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, leaves a news conference Friday in Islamabad. Clinton said Pakistan must make “decisive steps” in days ahead to fight terrorism.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Friday with top Pakistani officials on a brief visit designed to establish new ground rules for the shaky U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Clinton met with President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan's military and intelligence chiefs. She was accompanied by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, who arrived in Islamabad on Thursday night.

Clinton is the highest-ranking administration official to visit Pakistan since Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. commando raid at his hideout in the nearby city of Abbottabad early this month.

She postponed a trip scheduled last week as a sign of U.S. displeasure with Pakistan, and Friday's visit was confirmed only after the Pakistanis agreed this week to allow CIA officials to examine bin Laden's compound.

Officials traveling with Clinton said that her private message was a stern one, listing four areas of cooperation outlined last week during a visit by Marc Grossman, the administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and deputy CIA director Michael Morell.

The access now granted to the Abbottabad compound was the first U.S. request. Clinton also emphasized the need for increased Pakistani cooperation in counterterrorism operations against insurgent havens in tribal areas, and in facilitating nascent U.S. and Afghan government reconciliation talks with the Taliban, as well as efforts by Pakistani leaders to counter widespread anti-Americanism among the Pakistani public.

"We will do our part, and we look to the government of Pakistan to take decisive steps in the days ahead," Clinton said in a news conference after her meetings.

She told reporters that there remains no evidence that people in Pakistan's highest ranks had knowledge of where bin Laden was hiding.

3 NATO troops die in Afghan attacks

Insurgent attacks killed three NATO service members Friday in southern Afghanistan, the military alliance said, as Taliban-led fighters pressed a spring offensive. NATO said two service members were killed in a bomb attack and the third in a separate insurgent attack. It did not announce their nationalities. On Thursday, two back-to-back blasts killed eight U.S. troops and two Afghan police officers in southern Afghanistan.

Associated Press

Clinton takes stern message to Pakistan in wake of Osama bin Laden's death 05/27/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 27, 2011 11:24pm]

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