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Pakistani PM Holds Talks with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld


Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is holding talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

Later in the day Monday he is scheduled to meet with members of Congress. Tuesday Mr. Aziz speaks with President Bush.

Mr. Aziz arrived in Washington at a time of rising tensions between the two allies. He has defended his government's efforts to gain control over remote tribal regions near the Afghan border.

Speaking Sunday on U.S. television, Aziz disputed a newspaper report in the New York Times that suggested Taleban, al-Qaida and foreign fighters have strengthened control over the area in recent years.

He said a force of 80 thousand troops in the tribal regions has captured senior al-Qaida members, but that U.S., Afghan and Pakistani forces must do more to patrol the border.

Aziz also criticized the January 13th U.S. missile strike on a suspected al-Qaida meeting in rural Pakistan that killed about 18 people.

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