CIA chief visits Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani and an American official say CIA Director Leon Panetta is in Pakistan for talks on how to repair ties between the two countries that were badly damaged by the American raid on Osama bin Laden.

The visit Friday by Panetta is likely to be his last before he becomes the next U.S. defense secretary.

It is his first to Pakistan since a unilateral American raid on May 2 killed bin Laden in a Pakistani army town.

The raid triggered anger in Pakistan because the U.S. gave its leaders no warning, and security ties between the two countries hit new lows.

The officials said Panetta had dinner with army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the head of the country's main spy agency, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

They did not give their names to discuss the high-level meeting.


Dozier reported from Washington.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's opposition leader launched a rare direct criticism of the country's powerful army on Friday, accusing it of running a parallel government and meddling in foreign policy.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's remarks were likely aimed at capitalizing on popular anger at the army following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden last month. They could open up a new, unpredictable faultline between a popular politician and the army, which has ruled Pakistan for much of its 64-year history.

National elections are scheduled for 2013, and many analysts say Sharif's party is likely to emerge the winner. Other parties, including the ruling Pakistan's Peoples Party of President Asif Ali Zardari, have avoided directly criticizing the army.

The army has long been accused of running a state within a state. It dictates defense and foreign policy, and is still suspected of sponsoring militant groups to fight in India and Afghanistan, much to the anger of the West and reformers in Pakistan.

Sharif's comments to reporters were made at a public memorial for investigative journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, who was killed May 30 after telling a human rights activist that he had been threatened by intelligence agents. The army-run intelligence agencies have denied killing him.

In comments broadcast live on television, Sharif said the army should stop its "dominance of Pakistan's foreign policy" and accused it of running a "parallel government."

The army has been on the defensive since May 2, when U.S. helicopters flew into Pakistan undetected and killed bin Laden in a garrison town close to the capital. Critics have hounded it for not knowing where bin Laden was and not stopping the U.S. incursion.

Since then, the military was humiliated when insurgents besieged a Navy complex in Karachi for 16 hours on May 22.

On Thursday, army Rangers were filmed fatally shooting a teenager in Karachi, igniting fresh outrage at the institution. Security forces were also recently captured on video killing five unarmed Chechens at a checkpoint in Baluchistan.

The army has sought to deflect public anger by lashing out at Washington. It demanded that U.S. army officers training Pakistanis in counterterrorism activities return home.

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