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Official: Pakistan Putting Off Visit By U.S. Envoy

U.S. special envoy Marc Grossman
U.S. special envoy Marc Grossman
ISLAMABAD -- A Pakistani government spokesman says Pakistan is postponing a visit by a special U.S. envoy.

The move comes at a time of increased tensions in the troubled relations between the two allies.

In a telephone interview with RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal on January 18, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Intesar Sulehri said the visit by U.S. special envoy Marc Grossman was being put off until a parliamentary review of bilateral relations is completed.

"Right now we haven't taken any final decision regarding relations with the United States," he said. "The recommendation report is now with the parliamentary committee and you know that right now, Pakistan is facing internal [political] instability. Until there are further developments in this regard, we think [Mr. Grossman's] visit will not be fruitful. Now the parliament will take the final decision, and then we will see."

Tensions between Washington and Islamabad spiked recently over a memo allegedly from President Asif Ali Zardari's government seeking U.S. help in reining in the military.

Grossman is due to visit Afghanistan and Qatar this week.

with agency reports
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