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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
US envoy holds key Pakistan talks
Khurshid Kasuri and Richard Boucher
Security issues are key for Kasuri (L) and Boucher
A key US envoy has arrived in Islamabad for talks likely to focus on tackling al-Qaeda and Taleban militants operating from Pakistani soil.

US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher has met Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri and will later meet President Pervez Musharraf.

Recent comments by US politicians that the US should consider military action inside Pakistan have angered Islamabad.

Gen Musharraf defended sovereignty in comments to mark independence day.

Troop deployment

The US embassy confirmed Mr Boucher had arrived for a two-day visit but gave no further details.

One government official told AFP news agency Mr Kasuri would tell Mr Boucher that Pakistan insisted on its sovereignty.

We are not confronting terrorism for America, we are doing it for ourselves
Pervez Musharraf

"Our position is clear - that any raid into our territory would inflame public sentiments and prove counter-productive in the fight against terrorism," the official said.

Gen Musharraf acknowledged at a tribal peace meeting in Kabul last weekend that Pakistan's tribal regions had harboured Taleban support.

However, comments from the US, particularly from presidential candidate Barack Obama, that the US should consider military force in Pakistan even without Pakistan's consent have drawn angry responses.

In comments coinciding with Pakistan's 60th anniversary of independence, Gen Musharraf said: "We are not confronting terrorism for America, we are doing it for ourselves."

"I see everything from Pakistan's point of view. Now if Pakistan's point of view suits America, all right."
President Musharraf
The US media have criticised President Musharraf's record

BBC correspondents say that while US officials have been urging Pakistan to do more in the "war on terror", the US media have been pressing the White House to step back from Gen Musharraf, who they say has failed to curb militancy or work with democratic forces.

Militant activity has increased in Pakistan's tribal areas since the army stormed radicals in the Red Mosque in Islamabad last month.

A peace agreement between the government and tribal representatives was subsequently broken.

Pakistan has sent thousands more troops to the area, close to the Afghan border.

Gen Musharraf has also had to deal with a crisis over the suspension and subsequent reinstatement after public clamour of the country's chief justice.

Last week rumours that a state of emergency may be declared prompted US President George W Bush to state that the US wanted free and fair elections in Pakistan, due this year.




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