MIAMI – The Rev. Al Sharpton said Monday he plans to travel to India and Pakistan to try to help calm tensions between the nuclear rivals.
Sharpton said that he has a moral obligation to go, despite a State Department warning for Americans to leave India and Pakistan.
"We're not trying to be contradictory, but we're raising a different point of view," he said. "The government can come in with governmental leverage. We're talking about the flesh and blood of people."
Sharpton said he plans to meet with religious leaders. He doesn't have any meetings set up and said he doesn't know who will accompany him from the United States when he leaves within 10 days to two weeks.
The State Department has no official opinion on Sharpton's visit, said spokesman Len Sny. But he added that the U.S. government can handle the situation with its own diplomats.
"What he's doing is on his own initiative," said Sny. "He's in no way representing the United States."
The United States and at least 12 other countries as well as the United Nations have issued travel warnings about India and Pakistan.