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Tension brews as US puts Pak meeting on hold

Amid a deepening diplomatic crisis, the US announced on Saturday the trilateral meeting with Afghanistan and Pakistan was being postponed because of political changes in Islamabad.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2011 23:42 IST
HT Correspondent

Amid a deepening diplomatic crisis, the US announced on Saturday the trilateral meeting with Afghanistan and Pakistan was being postponed because of political changes in Islamabad.

Though the obvious reference seemed to be the cabinet reshuffle in which a new foreign minister was named to replace Shah Mehmood Qureshi, relations between the US and Pakistan have been strained lately over another matter. And that is the arrest of an American Raymond Allen Davis for killing two Pakistanis. The US wants him released saying he is a diplomat and that he killed the men, who were armed, in self-defence.

A court has prohibited the government from releasing Davis. But the postponement had apparently nothing to do with this. "In light of the political changes in Pakistan and after discussions with Afghan and Pakistani officials, it was agreed to postpone the Trilateral Meeting scheduled for February 23-24," said state department spokesman P J Crowley.

"We remain committed to engagement between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and US, as we share many issues of mutual concern and benefit from being at the same table." But there are no dates for the meeting, not for now.