Dubai: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has held a secret meeting in the country with Richard Holbrooke, US Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, reportedly to regain American trust and to discuss issues endangering his government.

Also present at the meeting was Pakistan Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani who reportedly arranged the special meeting and the US Ambassador in the UAE Richard G. Olson, Jr. Diplomatic sources have confirmed the meeting.

Zardari, who was ostensibly on a private visit to the UAE, remained busy holding meetings with a number of US officials in Abu Dhabi.

His secret meetings with US officials raised many an eye brow in top Pakistani political and bureaucratic circles because he was not accompanied by any other official except Haqqani.

Even Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was not involved while Pakistani diplomats in the UAE were kept at bay. Zardari, who came to the UAE on March 23, left from Dubai on Friday.

Sources told Gulf News that Zardari was here to renegotiate his position in the wake of expected changes in the US policy towards Pakistan and Afghanistan on its war against terrorism. The announcement of the new policy is expected this week.

Zardari is worried for his government after sharp increase in the popularity of his rival Nawaz Sharif, who gained massive support from people during the recent long march of lawyers.

The US did notice his public support and has established soft corner for Sharif otherwise ignored by the US in the past since his decision to conduct nuclear test a decade ago.

The Zardari government is concerned that Washington was paying more attention to Sharif.

The President was also alarmed by the positive reaction in Washington where the restoration of the deposed judges and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was instantly welcomed, erasing the impression that the US was somehow against the chief justice.

Sources said that increasing "intimacy" between the US and Sharif has created panic like situation in the Presidency.

Zardari was also busy in Abu Dhabi to negotiate some financial aid for Pakistan which urgently needs at least Dh10 billion to breath in the worst economic crisis in the country. But so far, there are no concrete results.

A meeting of Friends of Democratic Pakistan is also being held in Abu Dhabi in the first week of April this year in a bid to discuss issues of raising immediate aid for Pakistan.