Holbrooke visits NWFP’’s Mohmand tribal agency

February 11th, 2009 - 9:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Peshawar, Feb.11 (ANI): US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, visited the Mohmand tribal agency in north west Pakistan on Wednesday.
“He went to the headquarters of the Mohmand Rifles and was given a briefing about military operations,” the Dawn quoted a government official in the region, as saying.
Holbrooke travelled to Mohmand, one of seven of Pakistan’’s ethnic Pashtun tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, by helicopter.
President Barack Obama named Holbrooke as his special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan last month, handing one of the most arduous US security challenges to the man who brokered the 1995 agreement that ended the Bosnian war.
He faces a host of challenges in dealing with the war in Afghanistan and an intensifying insurgency in northwest Pakistan while trying to ensure tension between old rivals India and Pakistan doesn”t exacerbate the difficulties.
Holbrooke is also due to visit Afghanistan and India.
A US embassy spokesman declined to comment on what Holbrooke was doing on Wednesday.
”As Ambassador Holbrooke said, he is in Pakistan to listen and learn the ground realities of this critically important country,” said embassy spokesman Lou Fintor.
The US administration is moving to complete its review of Afghan strategy before NATO holds its next summit on April 2.
President Obama said this week there was no doubt terrorists were operating in safe havens in the tribal regions of Pakistan and the United States wanted to make sure Islamabad was a strong ally in fighting that threat.
With Afghanistan in the grip of the worst violence since the Taliban were toppled from power in late 2001, the US military has drawn up plans that could almost double the number of US troops there to about 60,000.
Obama is expected to decide within days how many extra US troops to send, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday.
There are 37,000 US forces in Afghanistan as part of a western military presence of about 70,000 troops. (ANI)

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