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Tough challenges ahead for new U.S. envoy to Pak

June 26, 2012 - Washington

The new U.S. envoy to Pakistan replacing Cameron Munter, would have to balance two major needs: stabilising Pakistan-U.S. relations, and support the U.S. drawdown efforts in Afghanistan, which have suffered due to the closure of NATO supply routes last November, an official has said.

Shamila Chaudhry, former Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan on the National Security Council, said the next ambassador, likely to be Richard Olson, will face difficulties specifically in pursuing counterterrorism goals that help the U.S. in Afghanistan, while also promoting public diplomacy, development and economic growth goals in Pakistan, reports The Express Tribune.

The name that has been floating in U.S. media reports to replace incumbent envoy Munter has been of Olson, who was most recently posted in the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

Earlier this month, Olson was listed as the assistant ambassador at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan and the coordinating director for development and economic affairs.

Olson's bio has been recently removed from the Kabul embassy's website, and a replacement has been announced for the post he had held.

A State Department spokesperson has confirmed that Olson has left his post this month.


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