US defense secretary to visit Pakistan for talks

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit Pakistan this week for talks with the president and top officials on cooperation in counterterrorism and efforts by Pakistan to stop militants from moving across the border with Afghanistan, an official said Sunday. Gates, who will be making his first visit to Pakistan since becoming the Pentagon chief, is scheduled to arrive Monday, a senior government official said on condition of anonymity because he does not have the authority to speak formally about the visit. Gates' visit comes amid a string of suicide bombings in Pakistan and fears for a renewed spring offensive by Taliban fighters in neighboring Afghanistan.