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US may pressure Zardari to work with Sharif to check Taliban

Washington, May 4 (ANI): President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to face some pressure during the upcoming talks with US President Barack Obama to work with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in an effort to strengthen his civilian government in combating the Taliban challenge.

No one here is publicly saying that the Obama Administration is trying to work out a power-sharing deal between Zardari and Nawaz sharif, sources have said.

Official point out that both Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have spoken with Nawaz Sharif by telephone in the past month, and have urged Zardari’s “increasingly unpopular government” to work closely with Sharif.

Diplomatic observers said that during his meeting with Obama later this week, the controversial deal Pakistan made with the Taliban is also expected to come up, The Nation reports.

Zardari, who arrives on Monday evening from London for a week-long visit to the United States, is set to hold a series of meetings with the American leadership as well as attend the trilateral summit President Obama is hosting with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts on Wednesday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Zardari will also hold separate talks with Obama as well as a mini-summit, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Friday.

“The president looks forward to discussing with these two democratically elected leaders how we can work together to enhance our cooperation in this important part of the world as the US implements a new strategy” for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said Gibbs. (ANI)

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