Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Richard Holbrooke, Pakistan is not a failed state

The United States supports "unambiguously" President Asif Ali Zardari
and rejects talk that Pakistan is becoming a failed state, US envoy
Richard Holbrooke said Tuesday.

"Pakistan's of such immense importance to the United States,
strategically and politically, that our goal must be to support
unambiguously and help stabilize a democratic Pakistan headed by its
elected president, Asif Ali Zardari," Holbrooke told US lawmakers.

Rejecting US media reporting that President Barack Obama's
administration is seeking a deal with Zardari's political rival Nawaz
Sharif, the special envoy added: "We do not think Pakistan is a failed

"We think it is a state that is under extreme test. We have the same
common enemies," said Holbrooke, who is Obama's special representative
for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His appearance before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs came a
day before Obama was to host Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai
at the White House.

Holbrooke said: "Our most vital national security interests are at stake."

But the US administration had absolutely no interest in seeing the
Pakistani military return to power in place of Zardari's shaky

"We are strongly opposed to any such event. We have made that
unambiguous and made it clear to all parties, publicly and privately,"
Holbrooke said.

"We think this would be a terrible event."

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