US special envoy snubbed by Pakistan

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United States Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke has long been sidelined by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and now it appears the Pakistanis no longer wish to deal with him as well. A June 9 visit to Islamabad by Holbrooke has been canceled “after he was informed that no important officials would be in Islamabad on the day because of prior commitments,” according to a report in Dawn. Take a look at the events that President Asif Zardari and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had to attend rather than meeting the US’ special envoy:

Mr Holbrooke planned to visit Islamabad for discussions on the recently concluded India-US strategic dialogue, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to China, the Afghan peace jirga and, more importantly, the Pak-US official-level talks beginning on Friday.

But, he was informed that neither President Asif Zardari nor Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would be in Islamabad – the president would be in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) for the SCO summit and Mr Qureshi in Istanbul for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit.

And it seems India and central Asian countries want nothing to do with Holbrooke either:

Earlier Mr Holbrooke had to cancel visit to India and Turkmenistan because of similar problems.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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10 Comments

  • Paul says:

    Pakistan, Iran and Saudi are no friends of the West and Are the Axis of Islamism!

  • Bill Baar says:

    That’s gotta brutal for a guy like Holbrooke.

  • T Ruth says:

    i really wonder what this Holbrooke guy does in his work days….
    anyway i guess he has a couple of more days off as a result.

  • TomEgatherion says:

    You guys are missing a subtle but important point-
    * Mr Ten Percent is at the SCO meeting. The SCO envisions itself as the Anti-NATO.
    * Qureshi is at the CICA conference in Istanbul, hobnobbing with such luminaries as Mahmoud Abbas (President of the Palestinian Authority), Bashar al-Assad (President of Syria), Vladimir Putin (Prime Minister of Russia), and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (President of Iran).
    The message to us is: We don’t have time for you, but we have time for guys who don’t like you.

  • Charu says:

    So, beggars can be choosers. Who would have thunk it.

  • My2Cents says:

    The current administration in Washington, D.C., has a nasty habit of placating its enemies and publically dissing its allies, so is it any wonder that things are falling apart?

  • T Ruth says:

    My2cents, which category does Pakistan fall into? Enemy or ally?
    Point is confusion breeds confusion.
    A poxy little country is showing up how weak the US has become. The word might has 2 meanings–for now the pendulum is swinging from one traditionally ascribed to a superpower to the other.
    Still, DC might just pull itself up by the bootstraps. For starters (odd word, with 12 months to go) i’d love to hear what is The Administration’s strategy for Pakistan? If its top secret maybe some Deep Throat will tell us.
    If its a major Special Ops campaign, if its pulling the Baluch rug out from under Pak’s feet, if its precision-targeting their nukes, if its blowing the ISI out of the water, if its switching off the financial support, if its taking them to task at the UN, then great i’ll chew my words. I’m hungry enough now!
    Meantime one will look on at Uncle Sam’s courtship with the much younger, clever and conniving Pakistan with great fascination.

  • Bungo says:

    My2Cents said: “The current administration in Washington, D.C., has a nasty habit of placating its enemies and publically dissing its allies, so is it any wonder that things are falling apart?”
    That’s the use of “Diplomacy” this administration promised that could solve all of our international problems. It’s working quite well wouldn’t you say.

  • My2cents says:

    T Ruth,
    Pakistan is trying to be both. They want to be an ally so they can get the money, but enough of an enemy so that the administration does not think it can just walk all over them for domestic political reasons.
    It’s a tight wire act, with the other side yanking on the wire. The administration issued an order to the Pakistani government that was seen as a public humiliated the week before, and part of Holbrooke visit was to explain to them that they should not take it personal. Pakistan’s action was to show Holbrooke and the administration that the backroom explanation was not going to fly, and that a public apology (or large bribe) would be required.

  • Alex says:

    Although believe that current leadership in the White House isn’t exactly the best I think it’s wrong to discount the SCO meeting.
    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation
    Together these nations have more economic and military power than the US and they’ve begun cooperating on military to military and an economic level.
    The SCO meeting is hardly a trivial affair. Aside from the UN I think its impossible discount an organization which has Russia and China as participating members and Iran and India as observers. In fact even Afghanistan is involved with SCO
    .

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