US Diplomats Escaping Pakistan?
US bully diplomacy in Pakistan and blunders in neighboring Afghanistan have placed unbearable pressures on American diplomats.
SPECIAL REPORT | Saturday | 11 December 2010 | DailyMailNews.com
PESHAWAR, Pakistan—The policies of the United States in Pakistan have rendered the lives of American diplomats unbearable in this country. Out of hundreds of foreign diplomats posted at embassies and consulates all over this nation of 180 million people, only US diplomats face major threats. This is a country where CIA-run drones have killed hundreds of innocent Pakistani men, women and children, and where major terror attacks fueled by America’s war in Afghanistan have killed more than 5,000 Pakistanis.
US diplomats are also under pressure because of growing resentment among Pakistanis toward blunt US meddling in Pakistani politics.
The latest victim of her country’s lopsided policies is Elizabeth Rood, Consul General of the US in Peshawar. Only two months into her job, Ms. Rood left Pakistan yesterday back to Washington where she expects to be reassigned to a station other than Pakistan.
According to a report by The Daily Mail of Pakistan, which quoted sources in the government of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, ‘Miss Rood, a native of Carolina in US, had previously tendered her resignation but it was not accepted by the US Government. Apparently, the reason behind her quitting her duties in the volatile region was life threats from the Taliban.’
Another report in The Nation quoted a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad as saying Mr. Rood ‘has not resigned from her service, rather, she was called back to the States.’
Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, who led the US diplomatic mission in Islamabad after 9/11, became the highest-ranking US diplomat in Pakistan to abort her assignment and return home in 2002 just nine months into her job because of the sense of constant pressure. Since then, US State Department’s Islamabad station has seen one of the largest numbers of requests to move out elsewhere.
Ambassador Anne Patterson, who completed her term last month and left Pakistan, saw US diplomats bunker inside the embassy during her tenure. Patterson was roundly criticized for introducing a culture of fear and almost ending physical contacts between US diplomats and the Pakistani public. One of the highlights of her period is the introduction of a new service: calling up ordinary American citizens who plan to visit Pakistan for business or pleasure and warn them not to come.
Ambassadors of other western countries do not face similar difficulties in Pakistan, confirming that US policies generate hostility more than anything else.
Pakistanis are shocked at the level of US meddling in Pakistan, further confirmed by the release of secret US diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks website.
These insights have stunned even western observers who never expected Pakistani rulers to have allowed Washington unbridled access.
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