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Top U.S., Pak Commanders Meet Aboard Aircraft Carrier

The Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, held a secret meeting Wednesday of top U.S. and Pakistani army commanders on board an American aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean to deliberate on ways to combat the rising violence along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, media reports said.

Other top U.S. officials on board the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln included Gen David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, who will soon become the senior officer in the middle-east, Gen. David Mckiernan, NATO's top commander in Afghanistan and Admiral Eric Olson, head of the U.S. special operations command.

Also present were Lt Gen Martin Dempsey, acting commander of American forces in the Middle-East and Rear Admiral Michael LeFever, the senior American military liaison to Pakistan. The Pakistani side was represented by Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and his top key commanders.

The talks came a day after a woman diplomat of the U.S. Peshawar consulate narrowly escaped an ambush in the country's northwest. The armored vehicle of Lynne Tracy came under heavy gunfire Tuesday after two men armed with assault rifles blocked her vehicle in the University Town area of Peshawar.

The meeting underscored the great concern the two nations feel about the grave threat being posed by a resurgent Taliban and a determined Al-Qaida to the stability and integrity of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The extreme secrecy surrounding the talks came amidst a series of worrying developments: continuing political turmoil in Pakistan, increasingly deadly attacks against Afghan and western targets in Afghanistan and a U.S. top general's complaints that the Pakistani military has not being doing enough to stop militants from launching attacks into Afghanistan.

However, officials of the two "war-on-terror" allies divulged few details Wednesday about what was decided or even discussed at the meeting - including any new strategies, tactics, weapons or troop-deployment.

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