Did he snub or was he scared?
In another sign of new strains in the relationship, the head of Pakistan’s intelligence service, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, refused to meet separately with Mr. Holbrooke and General Mullen, who had requested a meeting, according to Pakistani officials and an American official, who sought anonymity because he did not want to further damage relations.
General Pasha did attend a meeting with the two Americans and Pakistani military’s chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, according to a statement issued by the press arm of the Pakistani Army after Mr. Holbrooke and General Mullen left Islamabad for India on Tuesday night. [NYT]
Most news reports interpret General Pasha’s refusal to meet the two American big kahunas alone as a snub. That’s probably correct.
But could it be that General Pasha was not too keen to meet Messrs Holbrooke and Mullen without his boss around? It’s not as if they came all the way from Washington, DC to exchange pleasantries.
Snubbing may have been the less costly option. Who knows?