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Defence Minister Peter MacKay (right) talks with Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance (centre) and Veteran Affairs Minister Greg Thompson in Kandahar, Afghanistan on May 16, 2009. ((Petrice Bergeron/Canadian Press))

Defence Minister Peter MacKay will travel to Pakistan on Monday to meet with officials over growing concerns about Taliban activity along the country's shared border with Afghanistan.

MacKay will meet with his counterpart Ahmad Mukhtar in Islamabad for the talks. Officials have only said the discussions are expected to focus on regional issues.

MacKay has said the current instability in Pakistan is making it "the most dangerous country in the world."

Pakistan has launched a major military offensive against the Taliban, which controls the Swat Valley in the country's northwest.

Pakistan officials say at least 800 militants have been killed since the offensive began.

The escalating clashes have forced more than 1.5 million people to flee the area, according to the United Nations. More than 80,000 refugees have moved into displacement camps.

MacKay has said it will remain a challenge establishing peace in Afghanistan until greater strides are made in taking on the insurgency in that country as well as neighbouring Pakistan.

"Clearly the impact on the mission in Afghanistan is based on the ability of the Taliban to recruit, to regenerate, to rearm, and then to move that insurgency back inside the borders of Afghanistan," he said.

About 2,800 Canadians are serving in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led mission.

'Numerous roles for Canada'

MacKay visited with Canadian troops at Kandahar Airfield before travelling to his meetings in Pakistan.

During the weekend visit, MacKay said Canada will still have lots to do in Afghanistan even if its combat role ends as planned in 2011.

MacKay said Canada's focus will then be on aid, reconstruction and governance.

"There are numerous roles for Canada, whether it's the building of capacity in their justice system, whether it's the work that's being done in training and helping with the Afghan National Security," MacKay said.

The hope is to secure the populated centres to allow enhanced humanitarian aid, build schools, provide immunizations and enable micro-finance credit, he said.

The defence minister spent more than two days at the sprawling military base visiting with Canadian forces, accompanied by Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson.

During the visit, the ministers also announced 11 new facilities to support soldiers who return to Canada with illnesses or injuries.

With files from The Canadian Press