Pakistan postpones US envoy Marc Grossman’s visit

Islamabad, Jan 18 (IANS) Pakistan Wednesday postponed a visit by US Special Envoy Marc Grossman until a parliamentary review of bilateral relations is completed.

Grossman is currently touring the region for consultations with the US allies about talks with the Afghan Taliban.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in Washington Tuesday that the US had made a request for a visit of Grossman as part of his itinerary to hold consultations with the US allies in the Middle East about involving the Taliban in the peace process.
“We received word that the Pakistani government felt that it would be best to wait (Grossman’s visit) until the parliamentary review is concluded,” Toner said in a press briefing.

A Pakistani foreign ministry official confirmed that Islamabad has postponed Grossman’s visit, Xinhua reported.
The official, who requested not to be identified, did not offer more details.
The US-Pakistan relations nose-dived after the Nov 26 NATO raid on two Pakistani military border posts that killed 24 soldiers.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had called for a review of relationship with the US and asked the parliamentary committee on national security to make recommendations.
Sources told Xinhua that Pakistan is also annoyed at the US for keeping it in dark about its talks with the Afghan Taliban and the opening of a Taliban political office in Qatar.
An Afghan diplomat in Islamabad, requesting not to be named, said that Pakistan and Afghanistan both had not been taken into confidence on the US talks with the Taliban and the opening of the Qatar office.
Last month, the US State Department had confirmed that Pakistan had asked Washington to reschedule a visit of the Central Command head Gen. James Mattis to the country on the plea that “Pakistani leaders were busy with an internal political dispute”.