In Pakistan, U.S. Special Envoy Finds Discontent
By JANE PERLEZ, New York Times, February 12, 2009
LAHORE, Pakistan — The American special envoy, Richard C. Holbrooke, wound down his whistle-stop tour of Pakistan on Wednesday with a brief visit to the lawless tribal areas, and then dinner with liberal intellectuals at a rooftop restaurant here in Lahore.
He had come to listen, not to lecture, Mr. Holbrooke said. What he heard was a familiar list of requests for more money and arms from Pakistan’s top leadership, as well as a litany of complaints about American airstrikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas using Predator drones.
Mr. Holbrooke’s trip to Pakistan, and his four-day tour of Afghanistan, which is scheduled to begin Thursday, was part of a top-to-bottom review of American policy in the region ordered by President Obama.
The challenge for the new administration is how to persuade a Pakistani military fixated on its archenemy India to reorient its troops to fight the Qaeda and Taliban insurgency that is engulfing the country.
Washington also wants to convince the poorly organized and almost bankrupt civilian government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari, that it must support the military in its counterinsurgency efforts by providing proper governance and development.
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