Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Holbrooke gets Sharif's view on Pakistan
Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:46am EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Simon Cameron-Moore
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Richard Holbrooke, the new American envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, met former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on Thursday to get the mainstream conservative view of where the country was heading.
Often critical of U.S. policies, Sharif is one of the most popular politicians in Pakistan, and his stronghold is Punjab, the richest, most populous, and politically influential of Pakistan's four provinces.
Since his return from exile over a year ago, Sharif has met various American emissaries, but Washington has been wary of the two-time premier's conservatism and has wanted him to speak out more forcefully against Islamist militancy.
Holbrooke arrived in Islamabad on Monday and has met with the political and military leadership of the country, and on Wednesday visited Mohmand tribal region for a briefing on the strategy behind a six-month-old offensive to drive militants out.
While he was there, a bomb attack in Peshawar killed a member of the North West Frontier Province assembly and wounded seven people in another demonstration of the extent of the Islamist insurgency in the region.
Pakistan complains that seven years of following a U.S. agenda in the war on terrorism has resulted in mounting insecurity, and allowed rival India to gain influence in Afghanistan, posing a threat of encirclement.
There has been no official word of his schedule, but Holbrooke is expected to go to Afghanistan later on Thursday. He will arrive in Kabul a day after Taliban fighters killed 26 people in attacks on government buildings in the Afghan capital.
After Afghanistan, Holbrooke is expected to go to India.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, agreed in a telephone call on Wednesday that a strategy was needed to try to resolve the region's problems.
The White House released a statement saying Obama had "expressed his support for Pakistan's democracy and his commitment to a strong partnership," especially on counterterrorism and economic development.
Earlier this week at his first presidential news conference, Obama said there was no doubt that terrorists were operating in safe havens in Pakistani tribal regions bordering Afghanistan and the United States wanted to make sure Islamabad was a strong ally in fighting that threat.
LOOKING FOR INFLUENCE
Many politicians believe the United States should be looking to engage conservatives from the mainstream, like Sharif, as they are more representative of popular sentiment.
Liberals see Sharif taking Pakistan further down a path of religious conservatism, with damaging consequences.
But they are also fearful that Zardari does not possess the charisma of his late wife, slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, to win the "hearts and minds" of people in the struggle against militancy and religious extremism. Continued...
View article on single page
ICC to indict Sudan's Bashir over Darfur: diplomats
Also on Reuters
Fashionistas: Swap 'til you drop at a "swishing" do
Slideshow: Brian Snyder's portfolio of work
Koala love story wins hearts after deadly Aussie fires
More International News
Israel faces gridlock, peace prospects dim
Australia police detain 2 over deadly bushfires
Taliban kill 20 in trio of Afghan capital attacks
ICC to indict Sudan's Bashir over Darfur: diplomats
Twelve held after China state TV complex blaze
More International News...
U.S. raises hackles with Karzai, looks for change
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
U.S., Russian satellites collide in space
Threats send California octuplets mom into hiding
Wall St. CEOs berated by lawmakers | Video
Cuba launches own Linux variant to counter U.S.
Koala love story wins hearts after deadly fires | Video
Howard Stern says satellite radio will survive
Stimulus bill cleared for House, Senate votes | Video
Madoff's wife withdrew funds on eve of his arrest
Shark attacks diver in harbor
Mexico drug gangs threaten cops on radio, kill them
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Koala bushfire survivor wins hearts
Bloodshed in Afganistan
Geithner grilled over bailout plan
Geithner, Bernanke sell bailout plan
Model in bikini graces Boeing jet
Talk of the Town
Sci-fi laser stiches wounds
Tainted peanut president grilled
UK economy faces deep recession
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.