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Pakistan hopes Obama India trip helps region

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s envoy to the United States on Saturday sounded an upbeat note on President Barack Obama’s visit to India, voicing hope it will help bring peace to the region.

haqqani pakistan news“Pakistan looks forward to President Obama’s visit in 2011 and hopes that his trip to India will create opportunity for lasting peace in the region,” Ambassador Husain Haqqani wrote on Twitter, the micro-blogging service.

Obama has pledged to visit Pakistan next year. But Pakistan’s former military leader Pervez Musharraf on Friday voiced “disappointment” that Obama was not stopping in his country on the current visit, saying he sent the wrong message to Pakistanis.

Obama has a delicate balancing act managing ties between the historic rivals as he tries to show support for India’s global aspirations while improving a complicated relationship with war partner Pakistan.

For many US experts, it would have been inconceivable for Obama to visit Pakistan on his current trip as he is trying to charm Indians who have voiced uneasiness over his administration’s early focus on Pakistan and China.

Obama opened his visit by paying tribute to the victims of the bloody 2008 siege of Mumbai and pledged that the world’s two largest democracies “stand united” against terrorism.

But Obama did not mention that the Islamic extremists blamed for the attacks were based in Pakistan, an omission criticized by India’s Hindu nationalist main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party. -AFP

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