Munter’s replacement: US envoy to assume charge this month

Richar­d Olson’s final itiner­ary depend­s on US Senate’s approv­al.

Our Correspondent August 02, 2012

ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador-designate to Pakistan Richard Olson is expected to assume charge later this month amid signs of easing of months-old tensions between the two allies.

But Olson’s final itinerary hinges on approval of his nomination by the US Senate. The US Senate is expected to approve his nomination before going on for one month’s recess starting from August 6.

Richard Olson is a career diplomat and most recently served as the coordinating director and economic affairs in Kabul. His stint in Afghanistan, according to one American diplomat, will help him understand the dynamics of this region better.

“Richard Olson does not need much time to settle down because of his experience and knowledge of this part of the world,” said the diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous.

Testifying before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, the new US envoy said the United States has a clear interest in supporting a stable, sovereign and democratic Pakistan at peace with itself and its neighbours.

“Continued engagement with Pakistan is necessary to pursue the strategic defeat of Al Qaida,” he maintained.

“Tragically, the Pakistani people have suffered greatly from the extremist violence in their country. They have lost more troops and civilians to acts of terror than any other nation,” Olson remarked.

But he also candidly admitted that the real challenge facing the US was to convince Pakistan to act against the deadliest Afghan insurgent group, the Haqqani network, which is believed to have sanctuaries in the North Waziristan Agency.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.


Mirza | 11 years ago | Reply

It is imp for Pakistanis and the PCO SC to note that each and every appointment in the US is made by the indirectly elected president of the country. The president is not elected based upon the popular votes but the Electoral College based upon all the states. Not only that each appointment from judges of SC to CJ, to army generals to members of cabinet to every high official must be ratified by the senate after an open and lively interrogation by the elected senators. Only the senate can confirm or reject the appointment. That is the reason democracy and working and the country is the richest and most powerful in the human history. Either we can hate it or we can learn from their experiences. The choice is ours.

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