Clinton Continues Talks with Pakistan Officials

Posted October 21st, 2011 at 3:40 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged Pakistan to deny safe havens to insurgents and to encourage the Taliban in Afghanistan to enter peace talks after 10 years of fighting.

She spoke Friday in Islamabad during a news conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Both U.S. and Afghan officials have accused Islamabad of supporting insurgent groups in Afghanistan, a charge the Pakistani government denies. The United States has also been pushing Pakistan to launch a military offensive against militants in the North Waziristan tribal region, the reported base of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network.

Clinton is in a second day of meetings with top Pakistani officials in Islamabad. She is traveling with a large U.S. delegation for the talks, including CIA chief David Petraeus and top military officer General Martin Dempsey.

The office of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Thursday discussions between the two sides were “cordial and frank.”

Clinton arrived in Pakistan after meeting in Afghanistan with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Meanwhile, officials in northwest Pakistan say at least 30 militants have attacked the house of a prominent anti-Taliban elder's house, killing the elder's two sons and a daughter-in-law. Authorities say the attack happened Friday in Minzare Cheena.

On Thursday, Pakistani paramilitary soldiers launched a raid in the Khyber tribal area along the Afghan border, resulting in a shootout that killed at least three soldiers and up to 34 militants.