As New Delhi reaches out to the world through aggressive dossier diplomacy,Islamabad is already facing the heat on the economic front as the George Bush administration puts off a crucial donors conference by the newly-created Friends of Pakistan.
It is learnt that the meeting,which Islamabad was desperately looking forward to and was tentatively scheduled for January 15 in the home stretch of the Bush administration,has now been deferred till the new (Obama) administration takes charge.
Incidentally,most of the countries who attended at least one of the two meetings of the Friends of Pakistan held in September 26 and on November 17 were the ones whose nationals had been victims of the Mumbai terror attacks: the US,the UK,China,Germany,Canada,Japan,Australia and Italy. The ones who had not been victims of the attacks were Saudi Arabia,United Arab Emirates and France,but
New Delhi has reached
out to them through diplomatic channels and a detailed dossier,which Washington has described as credible evidence.
While it is not exactly clear whether the Bush administrations decision to put off the donors conference was a direct outcome of New Delhis diplomatic offensive,there are indications that India is preparing grounds for squeezing Islamabads financial aid.
Washington,which is in touch with New Delhi at various levels,is being told to attach conditions in the financial aid programme which goes to Pakistan from various sources,including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These conditions will be in the form of real action on the terror front.
India is ready to reach out to the Obama administration as President Obama takes charge on January 20 and the strategic community feels that the initial feelers have been quite encouraging.
Those in the diplomatic circles take heart from Senator John Kerrys statement in Islamabad when he went there,after completing the New Delhi leg in mid-December where he talked about linking the US military aid to action against the terrorist groups.
This was a positive sign emanating from the in coming administration,and those involved in New Delhis diplomatic campaign say that there will be increased engagement with Obama administration.