U.S. Defence Secretary Gates begins Pakistan's visit
United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Islamabad on Thursday on a two-day visit for talks on defence ties and to review the cooperation in the war on al-Qaida and Taliban, officials said, Xinhua reported.
The U.S. defence secretary, who arrived after visiting India, is heading a 125-member team, sources said.
During his visit Gates would meet Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and top military leadership.
Security matters, with special focus on the situation in Afghanistan, India-Pakistan relations and the disputes between Pakistan and the United States over a host of issues would come under discussions, official sources said.
Pakistan is opposing U.S. drone strikes in the country's tribal region as Washington has ruled out halt to the attacks.
Gates will take into confidence Pakistani leaders about his discussion with Indian leaders.
The U.S. defence secretary said in New Delhi that militant group affiliated with al-Qaida might try to start a war between Pakistan and India as part of their efforts to destabilize region.
Sources said that Gates would be given a list of defence requirements of Pakistan and he would take the government into confidence over further development of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, actions against Taliban, and new U.S. policy for Afghanistan.