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US: Holbrooke may come as special envoy to India, Pak
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January 09, 2009 14:18 IST
Last Updated: January 09, 2009 15:57 IST

The incoming Barack Obama [Images] administration is likely to appoint veteran troubleshooter Richard C Holbrooke as a special envoy to Pakistan and India amid tensions in the sub-continent following the Mumbai terrorist strikes.

Obama's Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton [Images] may name Holbrooke, a longtime diplomat who brokered the Dayton accord that brought peace to Bosnia, as the special envoy, the New York Times quoted "people who have been told of the decision" as saying.

The media report comes even as a Congressional report warns that the fallout from the Mumbai [Images] terrorist attacks could further complicate "US policy in South Asia."

"The administration of President-elect Barack Obama may seek to increase US diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving conflict between these two countries," the Congressional report, released on Wednesday, said.

It cautioned that the incoming administration should stay away from any "high-visibility" focus on Kashmir issue as it would likely evoke Indian resistance and risk fuelling Pakistani expectations of a settlement favouring Islamabad [Images].

The Times also reported that Clinton will keep respected career diplomat William [Images] J Burns, who was the pointsman of the Bush Administration on the Indo-US nuclear deal, as the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

She is also closing in on naming special emissaries to trouble spots in the Middle East and Iran, the report said.

Sheela Bhatt adds from New Delhi [Images]:

At the farewell reception held for Ambassador [Images] David Mulford, Tarun Das director general of CII informed audience that the Obama administration has not appointed Holbrooke as a special envoy to India. He told the 200-strong audience that the story in the media is incorrect.
Das told the audience that Holbrooke is envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan only. He said that he has inquired about it. When he announced the factual position as known to him US Ambassador Mulford was sitting besides him along with Hari Bhartiya, MD of Jubiliant Organosys.

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