U.S. has very few options in Pakistan, says expert

February 9th, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb.9 (ANI): An Islamabad-based defense analyst, Ayesha Siddiqa, has said the United States has very few options in Pakistan.
Speaking ahead of the visit of Richard C. Holbrooke to Pakistan, the Washington Post quoted her as saying: “It (the United States) could increase economic aid rather than military aid to its ally, or resurrect George W. Bush’’s ”with us or against us” rhetoric and put greater pressure on Pakistan to deliver.”
When Holbrooke arrives in Pakistan on a fact-finding mission, he will be under pressure to include India and the contentious Kashmir issue on his agenda, a prospect that India strongly opposes and Washington has since rebuffed.
Holbrooke, a former ambassador to the United Nations, is traveling to the region in his capacity as President Obama’’s envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also will be making a stop in India.
State Department spokesman Robert Wood said one purpose of the visit is “to hear from the Indian government in terms of how we can all better contribute to peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
At a security conference in Munich on Sunday, Holbrooke said stabilizing Afghanistan would require a long and difficult struggle.
“It is like no other problem we have confronted, and in my view it’’s going to be much tougher than Iraq,” Holbrooke said.
Obama has identified Afghanistan as the main front in the “war on terror”. (ANI)

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