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Holbrooke meets Chatwal; discuss terrorism

The newly appointed US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, has held extensive discussions with Chairman of Indian-Americans for Democrats Sant Singh Chatwal on terrorism and other problems facing the region.

world Updated: Jan 24, 2009 11:31 IST

Ahead of his visit to South Asia, the newly appointed US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, has held extensive discussions with Chairman of Indian-Americans for Democrats Sant Singh Chatwal on terrorism and other problems facing the region.

Chatwal, who is a major fund raiser for Democrats from the Indian-American community, said that Holbrooke understands India's position on terrorism and fighting the menace is on the top of his agenda.

Chatwal said he has impressed upon Holbrooke, former US envoy to the United Nations who brokered the peace deal that ended Bosnia's 1992-95 war, to ensure that Pakistan takes strong action to root out the scourge which has become a major source of trouble for India.

Describing Holbrooke as a friend of India, Chatwal stressed that the Indian evidence on Pakistan's involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks is so strong that no rational person can have any doubt about it.

During their hour long meeting over lunch, the two discussed a wide range of issues affecting the region.

Holbrooke's focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan would automatically bring up the issue of terrorism as two countries are involved in the fight against Taliban, al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist elements, the New York based hotelier said.

Chatwal declined to give more details but said it is clear that peace in the region cannot be achieved until terrorism is wiped out.

This is important for the US too and it has to fight terrorism in Pakistan if it has to achieve its goal of establishing an effective democratic government in Afghanistan.

In his acceptance speech on Thursday, Holbrooke had described the situation in Pakistan as "very complex".