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John Kerry postpones visit to Pakistan again

July 29, 2013 16:33 IST

United States Secretary of State John Kerry's much-awaited visit to Pakistan has been postponed once again after his original travel plan was leaked to the media, official sources said on Monday.

A Pakistani official said the visit was being rescheduled at the request of the US and the two sides are in discussion to work out the new dates for a possible trip during this week.

Secretary Kerry was set to arrive in Islamabad on Sunday on a two-day visit.

In a statement issued after a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson on Friday, Pakistan said Secretary Kerry will visit in the "next two days".

Later, the statement was revised and issued again, saying the Secretary of State is "likely to visit Pakistan in the coming few days".

The US authorities believed that the revelation of possible dates of Kerry's visit might compromise his security and they postponed the trip, diplomatic sources said.

This is the second time that Kerry's visit has been postponed. He had initially planned to travel to Pakistan in June but delayed it due to the situation in the Middle East.

Kerry will be the first high-level US official to tour Pakistan since the new government took office after national elections in May.

Relations between the two sides are under considerable strain due to Pakistan's opposition to the drone strikes on its soil.

America has expressed its appreciation towards Islamabad for its cooperation in opening the Taliban office in Qatar which was temporarily closed due to tension between rebels and Kabul.

Sajjad Hussain