The US government on Friday ruled out any visit by Vice President Joe Biden to Pakistan as he makes an important trip to India later this month.
White House National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said, “Despite what some press have reported, Vice President Biden will not be traveling to Pakistan in connection with his upcoming trip to India.”
The US denial of any trip or stop over in Islamabad by Biden as he visits India was interpreted by diplomatic circles here as a clear indication on the part of the Obama administration that any visit to India by its top officials would not be linked to Pakistan.
The press report in question merely suggested a possibility of Biden’s visit to Islamabad quoting diplomatic sources on that but it was enough to invite a strong denial on the part of US authorities.
Some in the diplomatic circles see the US contradiction as a routine job of American officials to deny any development that is not going to happen but some also describe it as an act aimed at removing any possible misgivings among the Indian authorities about the upcoming important visit of Biden to New Delhi.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called off his visit to Pakistan that was to take place last month and now would be coming to Islamabad by the end of July. The US secretary of state made a trip to India last month and it was there that he announced the upcoming visit of Biden to New Delhi.
The decision of Kerry to reschedule his visit to Islamabad was seen here by some only as a matter of schedule and they said any dates of Kerry’s visit to Islamabad had not been worked out at that time but others viewed it as a move to delink any of its connection with his trip to India.
“You have two important states to deal with in South Asian region and you are also aware of decades-long differences between these two countries on different disputes so you have to strike a balance,” said a diplomat who sought anonymity.