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Pakistan’s military staged surprise attack on U.S. Embassy in Rawalpindi

Pakistan's military staged surprise attack on U.S. Embassy in Rawalpindi

World’s longest-ruling leader looks set to secure new term after 43 years in power

Mian Ghulam Sarwar’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will be in a position to govern for another six years on Thursday, while President Mian Muhammad Sharif, who has been in power since 1970, looks set to secure a new term after 43 years in power.


By Tarek Fatullay

The Associated Press

Published Wednesday, March 3, 2012

MANCHESTER, England — Pakistan’s military staged a surprise attack against the U.S. Embassy in the Pakistani-controlled city of Rawalpindi Wednesday, hours before a landmark meeting between Prime Minister Muhammad Mian Muhammad and President Barack Obama in Washington.

The military said the attack was in retaliation for U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan that have killed hundreds of people in recent years who have been seen by Pakistan’s government as threats to Pakistan’s stability.

But it was not clear if the U.S. was involved or whether the attack would change the U.S. relationship with Pakistan.

A Pakistani military spokesman denied any involvement in the attack Wednesday. But two U.S. officials said two helicopters from the CIA were involved. U.S. officials were not immediately able to confirm that the U.S. had any involvement.

In recent years, Pakistan has come under heavy U.S. government pressure to curtail the operations, targeting of which has been criticized as violating international law.

In Washington, Obama was to hold a lengthy meeting with senior officials to discuss Pakistan, after he and Mian last week agreed to end sanctions on Islamabad over the nuclear program and other issues before the nuclear deal was signed last month.

Obama met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in Washington on Thursday and discussed the nuclear deal, which was signed with a commitment from Washington to halt its drone war against a network of militant groups in Pakistan.

“We are talking about the very real threat for the security of the world,” Obama said, while noting that the negotiations were moving along at a good pace.

“I think Pakistan can achieve its own national security, which is why I’m so encouraged,” Obama said.

Mian, who has been in power since 1999, has dominated many of the nation’s policies on nuclear and nonproliferation issues.

In the wake of the attacks, there was confusion

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