Richard Holbrooke, The Ambassador to the Islamic World

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Ambassador Richard Holbrooke's appointment as President Barack Obama's Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan should make major headlines in many parts of the World.  He will be the man who will shape a region that has seen the British Invasion, the Cold War and the War on Terror.  While the Middle East may receive global attention, it is the events that happen in Afghanistan and Pakistan that have shaped the last several decades of many countries' foreign policy.

Richard Holbrooke will be seen as a key man that will shape the policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ambassador Holbrooke must also understand that resolving the Kashmir Crisis in India and Pakistan is one prong and one strategy towards winning the War on Terror.  He should start the trip by going in to Pakistan.  He should not have planned a visit to India when his distinction does not include India.  If so, he should have been appointed a Special Envoy to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

Pakistan plays an important role in the Islamic World and Pakistan will become the Hub to Central Asia.  Any Central Asian policy will require the consent and the understanding of the people of Pakistan.  An economically strong Pakistan is in the economic, national and security interests of the United States.  The greater amount of Middle Class Pakistanis mean a greater amount of future US Multinational market targets.  But this middle class can not grow under the present political set up which has not encouraged innovation nor has expanded it's education system.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke must also understand that Pakistan's stability is the key to success in Afghanistan.  Pakistan can not be stable unless it sees it's economy progress, democratic institutions strengthened and educational system improved.  Richard Holbrooke should visit the madrassahs and seek to understand the issues that these madrassahs have created.  Former Foreign Minister Jack Straw created a precedence by visiting these madrassahs in Pakistan.  Ambassador Holbrooke will be the Face of the United States in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  His objectives in the region will shape the lives of over 200 million people in that region.  But his policies in the region may solve a dispute that has caused over millions to die and have the respect of people among both sides of the border.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke must treat Pakistan fairly and equally with India, not siding with one over the other.  But he must understand that he must look out for the little guy in the process.  The little guy in this process has been Pakistan.  He will not be effective unless he has a good team of people who are passionate about the region.  He must meet with the students of Pakistan and Afghanistan because it is them whose future he will shape.  He must also meet with Pakistani Americans in the United States who have an insightful knowledge about Pakistan and who know that politics in Pakistan has been a venting process rather than a constructive process.

Some Pakistanis will see Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as the head of Pakistan.  But he must use that to his advantage and decrease the anti-American views for the national security of the United States.  He must remind the Pakistanis of it's founder's dream of Pakistan being a progressive, developed nation in the Islamic World.  Father Jinnah's vision was for Pakistan to become a leader in the Islamic World.  Richard Holbrooke has a team of Pakistani Americans who have supported President Obama behind him.  But he must have meetings with the Pakistani American community in order to make his assignment a great success.

Pakistan is the sixth largest nation in the world in population.  Pakistan is also the second largest nation in the Islamic World.  It is also one of the biggest outsourcers of it's people and many Pakistani Americans serve on many American mosque governing boards. He has the resource to work with from within the Pakistan American community.  He also has a tough task ahead that past Ambassador's have failed on.  He needs to be a Pro-Democracy Ambassador and his first task ahead is making sure that the Biden Lugar Plan for Pakistan is passed, not with Aid Cuts, but Aid Rewards for Democracy.  It is more sensible to reward Pakistan for it's democratic steps rather than to cut Aid as a result of those democratic steps.  Ambassador Holbrooke has the opportunity to be one of America's great foreign success stories or become another history that will come back to haunt the global community.

Munzir Naqvi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Kennesaw State University.

He serves as an advisor to the Pakistan Israel Peace Forum (PIPF) & Pakistan The Next Five Years. Mr. Naqvi has served as President of Student Government at Kennesaw State University in 2004-2005. 

Naqvi is interested in developing countries and economic policies.  He is an advocate of Free Trade in a Free World.  His Motto is Diplomacy before Dialogue.  You can follow him at www.twitter.com/naqvi and Join the Facebook Group: Pakistan The Next Five Years

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