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US Envoy Pledges Support For Pakistan's Anti-Taliban Offensive


U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke says the United States has given $165 million to Pakistan so far to assist those displaced by the military's offensive against Taliban militants in the northwest.

Holbrooke made the announcement Wednesday in Islamabad on his fourth visit to the country since taking up his post as the U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The U.S. has pledged a total aid package of $330 million to help efforts to resettle nearly two million people displaced by the Pakistani military's offensive against Taliban fighters in Swat Valley.

The military says it is wrapping up a nearly three month campaign against militants in Swat Valley and is now turning its attention to hunting down top Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan.

During talks with Holbrooke Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani reiterated Pakistan's objections to unmanned missile strikestargeting militants in Pakistan's tribal region.

Mr. Gilani urged the U.S. to share more intelligence with Pakistan, and provide drone technology along with better military equipment and ammunition to fight militants.

Holbrooke reassured Pakistani leaders that the U.S. will continue to share information on its operations against the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistani officials have expressed concern that U.S. military action in southern Helmand province will force militants into Pakistan's Baluchistan province.

Holbrooke travels to Afghanistan on Thursday.

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