Holbrooke seeks India’s view on US AF-PAK strategy

April 8th, 2009 - 9:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Apr. 8 (ANI): US President Barack Obama’s special envoy Richard Holbrooke has sought Indian involvement and views to support Washington’s new regional strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We never really had sufficient talks with India about regional and global strategic issues and that was the missing factor. That’s why Admiral Mullen and I have come here to accelerate today. We can’t solve issue like Afghanistan and many other issues without India’s full involvement and thereon expressions of views,” Holbrooke told reporters in New Delhi.

It was Holbrooke’s first India trip since President Obama announced plans to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan, while helping Pakistan with more military and non-military aid.

“Our trip was designed to move forward the process in Afghanistan, Pakistan and start bringing into operational focus the elements in the strategic review. Our stop here in New Delhi was to inform and consult the Indian Government,” Holbrooke said.

His trip comes at a time when India is uneasy that Obama’s strategy fails to reflect its concerns about what New Delhi sees as Pakistan’s backing of militants, analysts and government officials say.

Holbrooke further said that all the three countries India, US and Pakistan need to work together towards their common goal.

“We are working intensively with our friends in Pakistan to achieve a common goal. That is what we are doing. We know it’s going to be difficult but the national security interest of all the three countries is clearly at stake,” said Holbrooke.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, also addressed news conference along with Holbrooke and said that

“India is a vital leader in the region and we recognize that. And the role that India plays is absolutely critical in so many positive ways. And one of the reasons we talked about it civilian military team and civilian military relationship is to see to make sure that we understand the problems through your eyes. And we seek that council in every engagement in which we participate,” Admiral Mullen said.

Holbrooke and Mullen met Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon earlier in the day. (ANI)

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