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ISLAMABAD (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Pakistani leaders Monday that if they don't resolve protests stalling some military shipments across the border with Afghanistan, it could be difficult to maintain political support in Washington for an aid program that has sent billions of dollars to Islamabad, defense officials said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel on Monday that US drone strikes were "counter-productive" as Washington tried to ease tensions with Islamabad. In the first visit by a US defence secretary for nearly four years, Hagel flew from Kabul to Pakistan to meet the premier and the country's new army chief, General Raheel Sharif. Ties have been seriously strained over US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt as well as over sanctuaries for Afghan Taliban insurgents inside Pakistan's borders. Sharif "reaffirmed Pakistan's support for the Afghan peace and reconciliation process", a Pakistan government statement said after the talks.