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Sunday, 22 March 2009

US CIA Chief on Sub-Continent; Indication of US Focus

Leon Panetta, Obama's second-choice CIA Chief, in a clear indication of the the 'AfPak' direction of Washington's main inetlligence concerns, touched down in Islamabad Saturday after a visit to India. He was in town to talk to President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani.

The powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Agency head Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha also met with his opposite number Panetta. This follows a visit by US National Intelligence Director John Michael McConnell and Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller.

Pakistan-watchers note that the Prime Minister, Gilani, has emerged from the recent political turmoil over the deposed Chief Justice, restored yesterday, as a stronger figure and that he may be shoring up his own base for a political dance which may take place at a future date. Sunday March 22, he meets with Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader Nawaz Sharif who broke away from a coalition with President Zardari last year. Also present at the meeting at Nawaz's estate, Raiwind Farm,is Nawaz's brother Shahbaz, it is being reported.

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