Obama administration officials have pledged to talk to world leaders no matter their views. On Tuesday, they showed that the offer extends to Islamists who spend the day denouncing America from the street corners.
U.S. envoy Richard C. Holbrooke met with Liaqat Baloch, a leader of Pakistan’s Jamaat-i-Islami party. About an hour later, as the bearded scholar prepared to depart for an anti-American rally across town, the veteran diplomat said that despite their disagreements, the meeting had begun “a very useful dialogue.”
Pakistan is eager for U.S. aid, but many people are wary of U.S. intentions. Jamaat-i-Islami has limited leverage in the government, but it is one of the most influential Pakistani Islamist parties, and its anti-American views are widely shared, U.S. officials say. [continued…]