U.S. special envoy ends Pakistan trip offering carrot, stick

18:55, June 21, 2010      

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U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke offered Pakistan both carrot and stick pledging an increased civil and military assistance, but warning the nuclear-armed country against consolidating its ties with neighboring Iran.

During his two-day visit over the weekend, Holbrooke announced an additional 11.1 million dollars in humanitarian aid for people affected by continuing insurgency in the tribal belt of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. The U.S. has contributed 173.9 million dollars in the United Nations' Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan (PHRP) within a year.

However in a U-turn move, Holbrooke who is infamous as " bulldozer" for his iron fisted negotiations in Balkans a decade ago, warned Pakistan "not to over commit" with Iran, despite sympathizing Pakistan's severe energy crisis.

Pakistan, the sixth most populated country of the world inhabiting 170 million people, was compelled to ink a 7.6 billion dollar natural gas supply pipeline agreement in March with Iran, which has the second largest reserves of natural gas in the world after Russia.

"The U.S. is getting extremely unpopular in Pakistan," Defense and security analyst Major General (Retired) Jamshed Ayaz told Xinhua on Monday while commenting in the backdrop of the increasing civilian deaths in the controversial unmanned drone strikes in the northwest tribal belt of Pakistan and the war against terror that has directly and indirectly cost Pakistan three trillion dollars so far.

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