India Insight

from Tales from the Trail:

Is Holbrooke’s “bulldozer” style working?

Dubbed the "bulldozer" for his tough guy tactics in Balkan negotiations, U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke has been making waves in South Asia recently.

holbrookeU.S. embassies in New Delhi and Kabul have been scrambling over the past week to deal with local fallout from statements made by Washington's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Statements that often go by unnoticed in Washington are parsed word for word in a region where there are deeply-held suspicions over U.S. intentions.

One such example is Holbrooke's comments at a forum at Harvard last week where he was asked about re-integration efforts with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Holbrooke made clear -- as he has many times before -- that the United States was not in talks with the Taliban but offered up that almost every family of the southern Pashtun tribes had someone involved with the Taliban.

Why is China issuing separate visas to residents of Indian Kashmir?

New Delhi is barring residents of Indian Kashmir from travelling to China on separate visas issued by the Chinese embassy.

Saifuddin Soz, senior Kashmiri leader and member of India’s ruling Congress party, has said the decision by China to issue hand-written visas on loose sheets of paper to Kashmiris was “not acceptable”.

Why is China issuing separate visas to people from Indian Kashmir?

Separatist leaders say that China’s decision to issue visas to Kashmiris on loose sheets reflects Beijing’s recognition of Kashmir as disputed territory.

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