INTERNATIONAL

Straw on 3-day visit to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, MARCH 3. The British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, arrived here tonight on a three-day visit to hold bilateral consultations with his counterpart, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri. The visit assumes significance in view of international concerns on the recent nuclear scandal in the country. Mr. Straw will call on the President and the Prime Minister. He will visit Peshawar, call on the Governor, and deliver a lecture on "Engaging Islam" at the Peshawar University.

Mr. Straw is the third important personality from Europe to visit Islamabad in recent days. The French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, was here on Monday. The German Director General is currently holding consultations with his Pakistani counterparts. The Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman, Masood Khan, said all the visits were inter-linked in a "broad sense." Islamabad was not enthused over the proposals made by France for a dialogue on stricter nuclear export controls.