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India was pleased to hear that the brief for Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special envoy to Pakistan-Afghanistan, will not include Kashmir, says the Times of India. Many observers here feared that Obama's new team would open the Kashmir issue in an effort to bring Pakistan more solidly aboard in the anti-terrorism efforts on the border with Afghanistan. But it appears that India's early lobbying and Pakistan's hamfisted handling — and public relations debacle — of the Mumbai attacks have paid off for New Delhi.
Nevertheless, where economic and military aid are concerned, Indian observers still believe that the U.S. will have great difficulty in snipping the purse strings in Pakistan. If that's the case, then all of Obama's tough rhetoric calling for action against the Mumbai attackers from Islamabad will probably go for naught.