Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
from Tales from the Trail:
Pakistan's foreign minister heads his country's delegation to Washington this week for high-level talks, but there was no mistaking who was the star at a reception at the Pakistani Embassy on Tuesday night: Army General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
Guests crowded around Kayani at the annual Pakistani National Day party at the embassy, posing for photos and jostling for the military leader's ear. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, also drew those eager for photographic souvenirs of the occasion, but not such a feeding frenzy as that around Kayani.
U.S. senators and Obama administration officials lined up to speak to the slim and dapper general, who Pakistani media say rules the roost back home but is also central to U.S. relations with Islamabad.
Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani, who has had his own tensions with the military in the past, heaped praise on Kayani during his introductory remarks for Qureshi.
from Tales from the Trail:
Dubbed the "bulldozer" for his tough guy tactics in Balkan negotiations, U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke has been making waves in South Asia recently.
U.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.
from India Insight:
Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, is visiting India for a second time in seven weeks. But what has surprised many is the timing of the trip, coming as it does at a time when India is preparing for a general election and most government business is virtually on hold.Though India is not part of Holbrooke's remit, New Delhi's engagement is imperative for any effort to stabilise the so-called Af-Pak region.But that hardly explains the visit now, considering that he could expect to do little business with a "lame duck government" in New Delhi.So why is he coming now?Many Indian analysts believe that keeping India and Kashmir out of Holbrooke's brief was a way of Washington massaging New Delhi's ego.In reality, though, they say India is very much part of Holbrooke's mandate because Pakistan wants a solution to disputed Kashmir as an element of any regional peace efforts -- a demand Washington can hardly ignore if it expects Pakistan's cooperation.An Indian analyst here says Holbrooke is using the interregnum to show his turf includes India.So if it is impossible to disentangle Kashmir from any effort to win Pakistani cooperation to stabilise Afghanistan, where does that leave India-U.S relations?