Holbrooke denies push for India-Pakistan dialogue | india | Hindustan Times
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Holbrooke denies push for India-Pakistan dialogue

india Updated: Apr 08, 2009 18:53 IST
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US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said on Wednesday he had no intention of trying to push the Indian government into resuming a peace dialogue with Islamabad.

"We did not come here to ask India to do anything," he said at a joint press briefing in New Delhi with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"We did not come here with with any requests," Holbrooke said, adding that his only brief was to "inform and consult with" Indian officials following his visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His comments appeared aimed at addressing Indian concerns that Washington was intent on mediating a dialogue between India and Pakistan, whose relations hit a fresh low in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

India is particularly sensitive to any suggestion of outside interference in its long-standing territorial dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir.

Mullen stressed, however, that India's cooperation was vital to maintaining stability in South Asia.

"India is a vital leader in the region," Mullen said. "The role that India plays is absolutely critical."