SRINAGAR: In what could be seen as an embarrassment for the Indian government, Kashmir will top the agenda of Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke during his visit to the sub-continent. Richard Holbrooke is expected to undertake a visit to India on February 15 and 16. Television channel CNN-IBN quoting sources said that Kashmir will be one of the agenda’s during Holbrooke’s visit to Kashmir.
“Besides, all the issues related to Pakistan and terror, Holbrooke with also discuss Kashmir issue with the Indian leaders,” the news channel quoting sources said. His discussion on Kashmir can prove embarrassment for the Indian leaders, who had been ‘claiming victory’ after recent statement from Washington that Kashmir does not figure in Holbrooke’s agenda.
Indian leaders had been worried about Holbrooke’s tough-as-nails reputation and want to keep him off from ‘meddling;’ in Kashmir issue. Ambassador Holbrooke is nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for arm-twisting warring leaders to the negotiating table as he hammered out the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the war in Bosnia.
The US president, Barrack Hussain Obama during his presidential campaign had said the Kashmir issue was central to any stability in the region. Obama’s comments had rekindled hopes in Kashmir and Pakistan that the Obama administration might play a greater role in seeking a negotiated settlement to the Kashmir dispute than previous US administrations.