‘Frustrated’ Munter gives up Pakistan assignment

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The US ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, is to step down this summer after serving less than two years in the job, a US official said on Tuesday. Munter has been Washington’s man on the diplomatic frontline at a time when relations between the two countries have dramatically worsened, especially over the covert raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May and US air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. US ambassadors usually serve three-year terms, but in posts considered as tough as Pakistan, are allowed to serve two years with the option to extend for a third.
The official said it was the ambassador’s decision to go and denied a press report speculating the move was related to poor relationships with Islamabad and Washington. “He is not being sacked, he has decided to move on,” the official told AFP. “He maintains good relations with both the government of Pakistan and the US government. It’s his decision alone. There’s no dissatisfaction with his performance from Pakistan or Washington,” the official added.
Other people close to Munter say he has been frustrated that the CIA and Pentagon call the shots for the United States in Pakistan, and that he feels his job has been to contain the fallout rather than set policy. According to a report by Reuters, the Obama administration is considering a senior official at its Kabul embassy to succeed Munter. The White House is focusing on Richard Olson, who has orchestrated US development and economic activities in Afghanistan since June 2011, to succeed Munter when he departs in coming months, sources familiar with the discussions said. Olson would have to be formally proposed by the White House and confirmed by the Senate. The White House declined to comment on a personnel matter. News of Munter’s move emerged with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in India, where she called on Islamabad to do more against Islamist militants in comments likely to antagonise Pakistan, which says it has already sacrificed more than any other nation. In his talks in Washington, Munter has advocated doing more to repair ties with Pakistan, arguing widespread anti-US sentiment in the country is a sign not of hostility to the US but of disappointment with the results of the relationship.
In Pakistan, he has been determined to improve America’s public image, travelling widely in a bid to meet as many ordinary Pakistanis as possible.

9 COMMENTS

  1. A very respectable decision Mr Munter.

    We respect you and wish you well. You made friends in Pakistan. You have found a place in the minds of Pakistanis living in Pakistan and settled in different parts of the world. We wait to here what you might have to say when you write your book in the near future.

    Well done and good luck.

  2. He should have quitted after Salala attack. A good gentleman who made many friends, shall be remembered in good words.God bless him in his new assignment

  3. Ambassadors come, ambassadors go. The bottom line is, the United States is divesting Pakistan equity…

    Not favorable…

    (in 2010 & 2011, 31% of US L-1 work visa went to Indians. And this is the kind of things, not foreign aid, that changes the fortune of a developing economy …)

  4. He seems to have given up… fed up with Pakistan's lies, insincerity and duplicity.

    • Fed up with Pakistan's lies??? OR something america is doing against Pakistan, nuclear contracts with india is fine, but Pakistan's plant is knocking them, destroy Pakistan's economy, what is this???
      america is backed by jews and act what they say, and they are not definitely with Pakistan, there is a conflict of interests among these nations. jews will cheat america too as they did in a war, you know when whole american fleet was fired brutly

  5. Monsieur Munter fait des amis et a pris un vif intérêt dans la diversité culturelle du pays, mais son point négatif était de faire de fréquentes visites au siège d'une organisation ethnique et terroriste à Karachi. Ces visites étaient probablement de la pression d'Altaf Hussain à montrer au monde qu'ils sont tellement respectables. Cela a créé beaucoup de malentendus dans l'esprit des gens du Sind en général et à Karachi en particulier.

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