WASHINGTON: The US State Department confirmed on Tuesday that Pakistan had asked Washington not to send its special envoy Marc Grossman to Islamabad for consultation on exploratory talks with the Taliban.
The confirmation of Islamabad's refusal to welcome Mr Grossman comes hours before Pakistan's new ambassador, Sherry Rehman, meets US President Barak Obama to present her credentials.
The Washington Post reported earlier Tuesday that Pakistan had turned down a US request for Ambassador Grossman to visit Islamabad during his current trip to the region that started this week. Mr Grossman is consulting US allies in the greater Middle East region on a move to involve the Taliban in the Afghan reconciliation process.
The development indicates further deterioration in a relationship which has continued to decline at a regular pace since the May 2 US raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. The decline became rapid after the November 26 NATO raid on a Pakistani military post that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.