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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Joint Pakistan-US military exercises
Pakistan army commanders
Pakistan has supported the US 'war against terror'

The commander of the American campaign in Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks, has arrived in Pakistan to watch the first joint military exercises between the two countries in four years.

His visit comes a month after senior defence officials met in Pakistan to discuss restoring military ties.

This new cooperation clearly stems from Pakistan's help in the war on terror.

General Tommy Franks
US-Pakistan relations improved after September 11
The two week exercise involves more than 100 American army personnel.

They are the first joint exercises involving American and Pakistani troops since Washington suspended military ties with Islamabad.

The US imposed sanctions against Pakistan for its nuclear tests in 1998.

Improved relations

But the sanctions were lifted after Pakistan pledged its full cooperation to the American war on terror.

Last month the US Under Secretary of Defence came to Pakistan to participate in the first formal meeting of the revived defence consultative group.

The restoration of ties is linked to Pakistan's cooperation with American operations in neighbouring Afghanistan and in hunting down al-Qaeda fighters inside Pakistan.

Jamaat-i-Islami in anti-American protests in Quetta, October 2001
Religious parties fared well in Pakistan's elections
However the American government will be concerned about the unprecedented success of an alliance of Islamic parties in last week's general election.

The alliance, which won the third largest number of seats, has stated its opposition to America's use of bases inside Pakistan and to what it terms 'foreign interference'.

It's not yet known whether the religious parties will make up part of the new government, but they could well have an influence on future foreign policy.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

17 Oct 02 | South Asia
27 Sep 02 | South Asia
27 Sep 02 | South Asia
24 Sep 02 | South Asia
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