News Update on Pakistan as of 1300 Eastern Time:
From Fox News:
Top U.S. Military Officer Adm. Mike Mullen has flown to Pakistan for an unannounced visit with senior leaders amid Pakistani orders to fire on U.S. troops conducting cross-border raids from Afghanistan, Reuters reported.
"The chairman is in Pakistan today for meetings with senior civilian and military leaders," Navy Capt. John Kirby, spokesman for the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Reuters.
The Pakistan's military ordered its forces Tuesday to take the offensive if U.S. troops launch another air or ground raid across the Afghan border, an army spokesman said Tuesday.
The orders, which come in response to a highly unusual Sept. 3 ground attack by U.S. commandos, are certain to heighten tensions between Washington and a key ally against terrorism. Although the ground attack was rare, there have been repeated reports of U.S. drone aircraft striking militant targets, most recently on Sept. 12.
Pakistani officials warn that stepped-up cross-border raids will accomplish little while fueling violent religious extremism in nuclear-armed Pakistan. Some complain that the country is a scapegoat for the failure to stabilize Afghanistan.
Pakistan's civilian leaders, who have taken a hard line against Islamic militants since forcing Pervez Musharraf to resign as president last month, have insisted that Pakistan must resolve the dispute with Washington through diplomatic channels.
More to follow:
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