Grossman arrives today to try and end Pak-US deadlock


US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman arrives here today (Monday) to hold talks with Pakistani leaders on ways to end the deadlock in ties between the two main players in the global anti-terrorism campaign and also to push forward the planned peace dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban with the help of Islamabad.
Grossman will meet President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Foreign Affairs Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in his two-day visit. In these meetings, the two countries’ row over drone attacks by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the presence of a large number of US spies and defence contractors in Pakistan will come under discussion, with the two sides trying to resolve these issues amicably.
“The tensions in relations between Islamabad and Washington have badly harmed anti-terrorism cooperation, besides impacting bilateral ties. Grossman’s visit is partly aimed at improving relations between the two allies and bringing them back to normal,” said a Pakistani diplomat, who asked not to be named. The other important issue on Grossman’s agenda is the Afghanistan reconciliation process and the role that Pakistan could play for its success along with other facilitators such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
“Grossman will hold an important trilateral meeting here tomorrow (Tuesday) on the reconciliation process in Afghanistan with Pakistani and Afghan officials headed by Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Jaweed Ludin, who also arrives here today (Monday),” said the diplomat. He said the meeting would discuss ways to reach out to the Taliban and make the reconciliation process a success.
He added that the meeting would also review the strategic partnership against terrorism in Afghanistan between the three states. He said the meetings being held in Islamabad would also devise the agenda for the high-level trilateral meeting that was postponed back in January owing to strained relations between Pakistan and the US over CIA contractor Raymond Davis, but now had been rescheduled for June this year.