US AF-Pak rep heads to India after being rejected by Pakistan

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Grossman heads to India after being rejected by Pakistan | The Cable

    The State Department's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman has decided to go to New Delhi on his whirlwind trip around the region to gather support for reconciliation talks with the Taliban, only days after Pakistan said he was not welcome there.

    Grossman is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today as part of a multi-nation tour that is aimed at gaining broad buy-in for the administration's plan to start a reconciliation process with the Taliban. He left Jan. 15 on a trip that includes Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Afghanistan, and Qatar, where he reportedly will be finalizing the arrangements for the opening of a Taliban representative office in Doha.

    The State Department admitted on Tuesday that Grossman wanted to visit Pakistan but that Islamabad asked him not to come, as they are finishing their overall review of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship following the Nov. 26 NATO killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghanistan border. NATO supply routes through Pakistan have been blocked ever since and the Obama administration, though it has privately offered condolences, refuses to publicly apologize for the incident.

    So, to fill in time in his schedule, Grossman added a stop in New Delhi, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland revealed at Wednesday's press briefing. He'll be there on Friday, just before going to Kabul, and the stop was just added to his agenda. No word on who he'll be meeting there.

    "Is that a message to Pakistan because they rejected him?" The Cable asked Nuland.

    "In no way," Nuland responded. "We made clear that we would welcome a stop by Ambassador Grossman in Islamabad on this trip. You know that the Pakistanis are looking hard internally at our relationship. They asked us to give them time to do that, so he will not be going there on this trip."

    Still, it's hard not to notice that Grossman is filling the time left open by his Pakistan rejection with a visit to that country's bitter rival. Nuland said India is a crucial player in the way forward in Afghanistan.

    "We believe that India has a role to play in supporting a democratic, prosperous future for Afghanistan," she said. "They're very much a player in the New Silk Road initiative. These are all part and parcel of the same ‘fight, talk, build' strategy. India does, as you know, support police training and other things in Afghanistan. So it's important that we keep those lines of communication open."

    This will be Grossman's second visit to India since joining the administration. He last visited India as well as Pakistan with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October.
  3. illusion8

    illusion8 Regular Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Bangalore, Mumbai
    Depends on how fruitful his trip to India will be, does he have an agenda, or just simply making a trip here for the heck of it?
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    India has strategic interest in Afghanistan.

    It is obvious that any discussion with the Taliban, by anyone, should also be in the know of the Indian perspective.

Share This Page