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Pakistan army boss scraps UK trip

Pakistan's powerful army chief has cancelled a visit to Britain as US outrage grows over allegations that Pakistani spies helped insurgents attack American targets in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence said General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who was expected to meet privately with Defence Secretary Liam Fox, had cancelled.

A Pakistani official said Gen. Kayani was staying in Pakistan to hold talks on the crisis sparked by the US accusations against Pakistan's military-run Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency.

Last week, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, accused the ISI of having backed an Afghan insurgent group in the planning and execution of a September 13 assault on the US Embassy in Afghanistan as well as a truck bomb that wounded 77 American soldiers days earlier.

Gen. Kayani, widely considered the most powerful man in Pakistan, has dismissed the allegations as baseless.

But a Republican on the US Senate Armed Services Committee has said the US should consider military action as an option against Pakistan if it continues to support terrorist attacks against Americans in Afghanistan.

Senator Lindsey Graham also said assistance to Pakistan should be reconfigured, and that the US should no longer designate an amount of aid for Pakistan but have a more "transactional relationship" with the country.

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