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US Defence Secretary Hagel to meet Sharif

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US Defence Secretary Hagel to meet Sharif
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Islamabad: US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel landed in Pakistan on Monday amid differences between Washington and Islamabad over drone attacks and misgivings over cooperation against militants and reconciliation in Afghanistan, officials said.

A Foreign Ministry official said Mr. Hagel would meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and several senior officials.

Bilateral relations came under renewed stress after Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack in November. Pakistan alleged that he was targeted to sabotage peace talk with the militants.

An official from the Prime Minister’s Office said that Mr. Sharif wanted to improve ties by offering cooperation in Afghanistan, and that he wanted US assurances on an end to drone strikes.

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