Pakistan News : US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Pakistan Monday for meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the new army chief, hoping to further repair a strained and sputtering relationship between Washington and Islamabad.
His visit comes on the heels of the latest interruption of US military shipments out of Afghanistan through the main border crossings into Pakistan.
Anti-American protests along the route in Pakistan prompted the US to stop the shipments from Torkham Gate through Karachi last week, due to worries about the safety of the truckers.
Pakistan has called the drone attacks a violation of the country´s sovereignty.
Over the past year, relations between Washington and Islamabad have been improving, and Sharif met with President Barack Obama and Hagel in late October in Washington.
Defense officials said Hagel will be the first high-ranking US official to meet with Gen. Rahaeel Sharil, who took over as head of Pakistan Army at the end of last month.
The last Pentagon chief to visit Pakistan was Robert Gates in January 2010.Hagel flew to Pakistan from Afghanistan, where he visited U.S. troops but declined to meet with President Hamid Karzai, who has rankled the US by refusing to sign a security agreement before year´s end. (AP)