Welcome to the hot seat Sherry Rehman
Sherry in the hot seat is a master stroke. She is bound to please liberal elements in Pakistan – all twelve of them.
Just when you think the government is on the proverbial ropes, it pulls a rabbit out of its equally proverbial hat.
In this case the appointment of PPP's Sherry Rehman as the ambassador to the US. At one stroke, not only have the speculations that the deep state will force the appointment of someone more pliable been put to rest, but a somewhat sidelined member of the old PPP guard has also been promoted and (presumably) assuaged.
Sherry, with her immaculate record and outspoken nature, is the one person who can not only go toe to toe with the notoriously cranky US administration, but can also be relied upon not to buckle under pressure – regardless of what quarters that pressure comes from.
Internally, picking someone who quit the information ministry post on principled grounds sends a signal to those PPP members who are jittery after Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s departure that the government and party leadership (they are one and the same after all) is not deaf to their complaints and fears.
Coming at a time when the hitherto unassailable PPP is under unprecedented pressure from both within and without, placing Sherry in the hot seat is a masterstroke. For what it’s worth (and it’s worth very little indeed), the appointment is also bound to please the liberal elements in Pakistan – all twelve of them.
As for the US, Sherry’s credentials as a fearless human rights campaigner and a strident critic of the blasphemy law will presumably go down well with the right circles. Also, her experience in fielding tough questions will be a plus point, especially as any Pakistani envoy to the US will find themselves on the talk show circuit and will have to deal with any number of hardball questions. As for myself, I’m just glad we have someone in Washington who can put madam Clinton in her place.
The last paragraph of this blog has been revised. An earlier version of the post mentioned Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.