The first U.S. Defence Secretary to visit Islamabad in four years, Chuck Hagel has arrived to hold what are being deemed as very important talks with Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership.

The visit comes weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed General Raheel Sharif as the new army chief and then in a visit to Afghanistan, pledged his support in facilitating peace talks between the current Afghan government and the Taliban, which many believe are under the influence of the all-powerful Pakistani military establishment.

In the first phase of the visit, Hagel has met Gen. Sharif and it is understood that the two discussed matter of mutual interest, the Afghanistan situation and the current lull in the NATO supply route, which the US government has been forced to close after protestors – mainly from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf -blockaded it, demanding an end to the controversial US drone strikes.

Hagel is also scheduled to meet Premier Nawaz Sharif and other senior civilian leadership in his one day visit.

 

– Image courtesy: hereandnow.wbur.org

 

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