U.S. Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke will arrive here on Sunday evening for a brief visit to mainly discuss the international conference on Afghanistan later this month in London.
On Monday, Mr. Holbrooke will meet External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. A meeting with the National Security Advisor is also included in his brief list of engagements. Mr. Holbrooke is expected to brief his Indian interlocutors about the contours of the new policy on Afghanistan prepared by the new Obama administration, especially the surge in troops.
India is likely to call on the U.S. to urge Pakistan to act against militants operating over both sides of its border and not just targeting Afghanistan. In this context, officials refer to the recent conversation between Mr. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
India had expressed its reservations about Pakistan’s inability to dismantle the terrorist training infrastructure on its borders and requested Islamabad to keep it informed about the progress in the probe against masterminds of the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.
Mr. Holbrooke’s attention is likely to be drawn to the intimate contacts between Pakistan-based militant handlers and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley as revealed in a U.S. court. He will be again acquainted with New Delhi’s conviction that LeT is a global threat and not inimical only to India.
Mr. Holbrooke will be visiting India after a gap of over six months. Each time his futile bid to make Delhi a stopover after completing his “mission” in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been officially explained away as due to the mismatch in his schedule and that of Indian officials. Diplomatic sources said the Indian reluctance to host him each time he visited the region was out of apprehension that Mr. Holbrooke might be wanting to expand his Af-Pak mission to include Jammu & Kashmir.