Ever since US President Obama started a trend early this year among Western governments to appoint high-level envoys to deal with the conflict in Afghanistan and its spill-over in Pakistan, naming Clinton-era diplomatic heavyweight Richard Holbrooke as his ambassador, others have followed suit. British PM Gordon Brown named Ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles in the role; while German Chancellor Angela Merkel nominated Bernd Mtzelburg and French President Nicolas Sarkzy has appointed lawmaker Thierry Mariani as his new special envoy to oversee the response to the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. All these ambassadors have been shuttling between their own capitals, international donor conferences, Kabul and Islamabad to oversee the relief and reconstruction efforts in war-ravaged Afghanistan as well as secure their own country's interests, since their troops are deployed in Afghanistan. At the moment Germany's special AfPak envoy Bernd Mtzelburg is closely coordinating the efforts of the states and international organisations under the aegis of the Afghanistan and Pakistan Support Group. The body meets regularly to give further impetus to development in the region and to dovetail the activities of individual states in support of the work of the UN, more effectively. Last weekend I had the honour to be invited along with a select group of media persons by Dr Michael Koch, the current German Ambassador to Islamabad to meet Bernd Mtzelburg, who was visiting Islamabad on one of his endless trips to the region. Herr Mtzelburg, whose last appointment was Germany's Ambassador to India, is a seasoned diplomat, who has also served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Chancellor Gerhard Schrder and Advisor for Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, turned out to be a frank and interesting person to chat with. He was keen to share with the media persons present, the various areas in which Germany and the International Support Group are extending help to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. He mentioned that the greatest challenge of the near future will be conducting free, fair, and transparent elections in Afghanistan and rehabilitating the Swat IDPs. Admitting that he has served as the head of the German Mission at New Delhi and was well aware of the Indian viewpoint, Herr Mtzelburg was willing to listen to the Pakistani media's viewpoint with an open mind. The discourse was useful, informative as well as forthright. During the TV programme, which I host, last week while covering US Secretary Clinton's visit to India, a very senior former Pakistani diplomat commented that the appointment of Richard Holbrooke as well as all the other AfPak ambassadors was not covered by the Vienna Convention since a regular ambassador was accredited to Islamabad and Kabul individually. I posed the same question to Herr Mtzelburg, but the response came from Dr Michael Koch, the German Ambassador and our host for the evening. He painstakingly explained that the Congress of Vienna of 1815 formalised the system of diplomatic rank under international law. An ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary is the highest-ranking diplomat who represents his or her country. "Ordinary" ambassadors and non-plenipotentiary status may be encountered in certain circumstances. The only difference between an extraordinary ambassador and an ordinary ambassador is that while the former's mission is permanent, the latter serves only for a specific purpose. Coming back to the subject of visits by ambassadors to Islamabad, Richard Holbrooke was asked by journalists in Islamabad, why Hillary Clinton was visiting India for five days but Pakistan had to make do with Ambassador Holbrooke only. Reportedly, his response was that Hillary was on a planned tour of India and would like to visit Pakistan in a planned manner, rather than make an adhoc stopover. Perhaps he was alluding to then US President Bill Clinton's March 2000 five hour layover at Islamabad in which he addressed the Pakistani citizens through the national network, rapping them on the knuckles for "cross-border terrorism" and raking up the Kashmir issue. Contrarily, international analysts like Teresita Schaffer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, point out: "There is a conscious desire to avoid re-hyphenation," by US administration so Clinton is not stopping over at Afghanistan or Pakistan while visiting India. So much for diplomacy Ambassadors may keep indulging in their shuttle dance to-and-fro but India, basking in the glory of US attention and Hillary's goading that it must become "a global player" continues its heinous agenda. Despite agreeing to delink "terrorism" from dialogue, India appears to be backtracking from its solemn pledge. Demanding action on the Mumbai terrorists before proceeding further, undiplomatic nuances by the likes of Indian State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shahshi Tharoor or Op-Eds by Yogendra Bali, Pak caught between yesterday's heroes and today's terrorists, in which he craftily propounds; "Behind the public statements and pledges of fighting terrorists, the political and military establishment in Pakistan always showed a sneaking sympathy for the terrorist and the Jihadi." India appears to be sabotaging the peace process altogether. For the last seven years India has meddled in Balochistan, FATA and Swat, the proof of which have been provided to the US as well as India. It continues to steal waters from Pakistan despite being a signatory to the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, persists in its massive arms build-up with force multipliers like AWACS, air-to-air refuelling platforms, ballistic missiles, tanks, fifth generation fighter aircraft, aircraft carriers, warships. Over the weekend India launched its first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies), capable of firing ballistic missiles, giving it the potential to fire nuclear weapons from sea besides land and air. It may claim it perceives China as a threat but its war-games and strategic doctrines like "Cold-Start" are Pakistan-specific. The various AfPak (a term detested by both Kabul and Islamabad for being bracketed as one theatre) ambassadors, who frequent Pakistan in quick succession, must take cognisance of the fact that they need to rein in India, which has problems with every neighbour and is a part of the problem and not the solution. The Occident is mistakenly projecting India as a global player. The writer is a political and defence analyst