Holbrooke discusses Pak situation with Zardari, Gilani | world | Hindustan Times
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Holbrooke discusses Pak situation with Zardari, Gilani

world Updated: Mar 13, 2009 08:37 IST
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Concerned over the ongoing political turmoil in Pakistan, a key US diplomat dealing with Islamabad has discussed the 'volatile situation' in the country with President Asif Ali Zardari and Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Richard Holbrooke, the Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, on Thursday talked to Zardari, over telephone to ensure that the volatile situation in the country does not escalate to a point of no return.

Holbrooke also spoke to Gilani, said the State Department Acting Spokesman Robert Wood. The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W Patterson, spoke Wednesday to the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, in Lahore, he said.

The official Associated Press of Pakistan reported from Islamabad that Zardari had a three-way teleconference with Patterson and Holbrooke.

"A host of issues of mutual interest to both Pakistan and the US came under discussion in the teleconference that lasted for about thirty minutes," President's spokesman Farhatullah Babar was quoted as saying.

"Without going into a lot of detail, you know, (US) Ambassador (to Pakistan) Patterson and Ambassador Holbrooke have been talking to the Pakistani Government about this issue," Wood said.

Our Embassy (in Islamabad) has had conversations with other elements of Pakistani society about this, he said.

"The point that Ambassador Patterson made, as well as Ambassador Holbrooke, is that we want to see the situationdealt with in accordance to the rule of law in Pakistan, that violence be avoided, and that any impediments to peaceful and democratic activities not be put in place," he added.

"We are still trying to, you know, formulate a good assessment, but obviously, the fact that these calls were placed means that we are concerned about the situation," Wood said.

The United States, he said, want to make sure that no violence takes place and that; all differences are resolved
within the political construct of Pakistan’s constitution.

Observing that the US is continuing to watch the situation, Wood said, "We will continue to engage the Government of Pakistan in discussions as well as other parties to try to make sure that what transpires in Pakistan is dealt with within the content of Pakistan's constitution."