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May 28, 2012 at 11:26pm IST

ISI chief's US visit put off: Pakistan military

Islamabad: New ISI chief Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam has put off a scheduled visit to the United States due to "pressing commitments" within Pakistan, the military said on Monday.

A spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations, the military's media arm, said Islam's visit to the US had been "postponed due his pressing commitments here". The spokesman did not give details about the commitments. "There is no other reason for postponing the visit," the spokesman said. No new date was announced for the visit.

The move came against the backdrop of strains in the relations between Pakistan and the US over the reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan and American drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal belt.

ISI chief's US visit put off: Pak military

The move comes against the backdrop of strains in Pak-US ties over the reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan and US drone attacks in Pakistan.

A report in The News daily about the postponement of Islam's visit had said that "contacts between the defence establishments of the two countries are still at the lowest ebb".

Islam, who became the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief in March, was scheduled to travel to the US this week at the invitation of CIA chief David Petraeus. Islam replaced Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who retired in March after being given two extensions.

Pakistan closed the NATO supply lines after a cross-border attack from Afghanistan killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year.

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