Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sherry Rehman new Pak envoy to U.S.

ISLAMABAD, November 23, 2011(Tehelkanews)

Pakistan appointed a new ambassador to the United States on Wednesday, moving quickly to replace the old one who resigned after upsetting the country's powerful military.Sherry Rehman, a former magazine editor and information minister, is an important player in the country's ruling party and considered something of a liberal. She was close to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed by militants in 2007.She has spoken up against the country's blasphemy law, which is used to persecute Christians. Earlier this year, militants reportedly put her on a hitlist.

Husain Haqqani resigned from the post late Tuesday amid allegations he wrote a memo to Washington asking for its help in reining in the military. He denies having anything to do with memo.

The diplomatic post is a crucial one for both nations. Washington wants to work with Pakistan to defeat al-Qaeda and negotiate a way out of the Afghan war. Islamabad relies heavily on U.S. aid and diplomatic support.

Relations between the two countries have soured badly over the last year, specially over the Osama bin Laden raid, which the U.S. carried out without informing Pakistan in advance. Many American lawmakers are calling for an end to U.S. engagement with the nuclear-armed country.

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