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Top U.S. Commander Visits Pakistan Amid Tensions


A U.S. Defense Department handout photo of Admiral Mike Mullen (left) with Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani (second from right) and ISI chief Major General Ahmad Shuja Pasha (right) aboard a U.S. warship in 2008

A U.S. Defense Department handout photo of Admiral Mike Mullen (left) with Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani (second from right) and ISI chief Major General Ahmad Shuja Pasha (right) aboard a U.S. warship in 2008

The United States' top military officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, is visiting Pakistan at a time of tensions between the two allies.

Mullen was expected to meet over the course of two days with Pakistani officials, including Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani.

Pakistan is a key U.S. ally in the war against insurgents in Afghanistan, and receives billions of dollars in military and civilian aid from the United States.

But Pakistan has been angered by civilian casualties in covert U.S. missile strikes targeting militants in Pakistan's border region near Afghanistan and special U.S. operations on Pakistani territory, while the United States has voiced concern over alleged official links with the militants.

Tensions increased recently after an American CIA contractor, Raymond Davis, shot and killed two Pakistanis who he said were trying to rob him. He was eventually handed over to U.S. authorities.

The head of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency visited Washington a little more than a week ago.

compiled from agency reports
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