Ambassador Haqqani: “The Man Who Has An Explanation for Everything”
A lengthy Bloomberg.com profile of our man in Washington published on Tuesday July 26 discusses how difficult his job is becoming as the Pakistan-US relationship continues to sour and elements in both countries call for ties to be severed.
The rift has deepened excessively following the May 2 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden (though doubts about the raid abound in Pakistan, according to a YouGov poll). Husain Haqqani’s job requires that he counter this development, which presumably demands all the negotiating skills that have helped him work his way across party lines and into a prime diplomatic position.
Haqqani’s “elegant solution” to the Raymond Davis crisis (perhaps the first time blood money has been described as such) is pointed out as an example of his conciliatory style. But with “the American street [being] deeply frustrated” and Pakistani worries about “abandonment,” such tactics may have to be employed with increasing frequency.
That an in-depth profile of a Pakistani ambassador is now considered a key news item is just one symbol of how omnipresent Pakistan has become in the American consciousness – and the feelings towards the nation are often far from positive. Maybe the old adage is true: “no news is good news.” Not being the subject of lengthy discussion and debate is the ultimate goal. Haqqani’s role, then, is to normalise relations to the point where Pakistan is at about the same level on the American panic scale as expired peanut butter.
Yet even he, apparently called “the man who has an explanation for everything,” cannot do this without efforts for greater stability at home. And one must take into account a new, rogue element: will recently appointed foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar help or hinder Haqqani?
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