Tue, Feb 17, 2009 - Page 5 News List

US envoy’s visit to India focuses on terror in Pakistan


Senior US diplomat Richard Holbrooke met Indian leaders yesterday for talks that focused on the global threat from Pakistan-based militants in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Holbrooke, the new US envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, arrived in New Delhi late on Sunday as part of a regional tour after visits to Islamabad and Kabul.

He was appointed to implement a new strategy in South Asia under US President Barack Obama, who plans to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan and to force Islamabad to eradicate al-Qaeda safe havens inside Pakistan.

Holbrooke, a former ambassador to the US, held discussions with Indian foreign policy advisers and was later scheduled for talks with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

“We will share our perceptions, and terrorism emanating from Pakistan will be part of that,” an Indian official said ahead of the meetings.

“We think the Pakistan establishment is key when talking about terrorism,” he said.

India has labeled Pakistan the “epicenter of terrorism” in the region and has accused it of sheltering Islamic groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is widely blamed for November’s attacks on Mumbai.

New Delhi has noted with strong approval that Holbrooke’s tour coincided with Islamabad’s admission that part of the Mumbai attacks, in which 172 people were killed, was indeed planned in Pakistan.

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