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Armitage met ISI chief before
leaving for South Asia
May 06, 2003 13:14 IST
Prior of his South Asia visit to discuss the fresh peace overtures by India and Pakistan, United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held a key meeting with Inter Services Intelligence chief Lieutenant General Ehsanul Haq in Washington.
The meeting between Armitage and Gen Haq, who arrived in Washington on Sunday for a week-long visit, took place on Monday, a report in Pakistan's daily Dawn said.
US officials were sought a full briefing on militancy in Jammu and Kashmir before Armitage's visit to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Although both US and Pakistani officials refused to reveal details, Gen Haq's itinerary revealed the significance of his mission as he was scheduled to meet top American officials, the paper said.
Besides Armitage, the ISI chief met Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vice-President Dick Cheney, US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge, it said.
The paper also reported that Armitage flew from Washington to London to hold talks with National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, but did not provide details.
Armitage, accompanied by US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca, would arrive in Islamabad late on Wednesday and meet top Pakistani leaders on Thursday, a US embassy spokesman said.
They would meet Paksitan President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali to discuss the progress of the Indo-Pak peace initiatives and the issues relating to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Armitage and Rocca would also discuss concerns expressed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the infiltration of Taliban militants into Afghanistan from Pakistan, reports in Islamabad said.