Washington: Contrary to public perception
that India was opposed to US` Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke and apprehensive of his reported role in Kashmir, a top Indian
diplomat had told him within a month of his appointment that
New Delhi had a huge stake in his success.
In his meeting with Holbrooke on February 16, 2009;
the then Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told the Special
US Representative that India "has a huge stake" in his success
in his new role and promised to support his efforts publicly
to alleviate negative media speculation about his mandate;
says a secret US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
Menon, now the National Security Advisor, was today
ranked 18 in the list of 100 top global thinkers by the
prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.
Holbrooke was one of the first editors of the
magazine, which is celebrating its 40th year of existence.
Holbrooke, accompanied by then US Ambassador to India,
met Menon on February 16, 2009, along with his deputy Paul
Jones, and his assistant Ashley Bommer.
The Indian side included Joint Secretary (Americas)
Gaitri Kumar and Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan and
Iran) TCA Raghvan.
During the meeting, Holbrooke explained his
responsibilities as Special Representative and emphasised the
importance of Indian views in the formulation of the new
administration`s Af-Pak policy.
According to the cable, Menon cited the numerous times
he had worked both publicly and privately with Holbrooke in
the past, and said he was very happy to see him in his new
The Indian government, too, was pleased with
Holbrooke`s appointment, he stated, adding: "We have a huge
stake in your success in this role".
Menon agreed with Holbrooke`s assessment that in
regard to the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan "you can`t
solve one without the other," said the cable issued by the US
Embassy in New Delhi.
Menon said the Indian government was aware of the
suspicions the media had created about Holbrooke`s mandate,
ie his reported mandate on Kashmir.
"While the media would always speculate, Menon
promised that the GOI would publicly support Holbrooke`s
efforts, adding that it would repeat the message `India has a
huge stake in your success` in its public comments," the cable