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Pakistan Embassy in US Removes Portrait of Ex-envoy Critical of Leadership

Haqqani was Pakistan's Ambassador to the US from May 27, 2008, to November 22, 2011, which is considered as one of the most tumultuous periods of the US-Pakistan relationship.

PTI

Updated:September 28, 2017, 10:27 PM IST
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Pakistan Embassy in US Removes Portrait of Ex-envoy Critical of Leadership
File image of Husain Haqqani. (Image: Getty Images)
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Washington: In an unusual move, the Pakistani embassy in the US has removed the portrait of its former top envoy Husain Haqqani who has been critical of Pakistan's military and political leadership.

Haqqani was Pakistan's Ambassador to the US from May 27, 2008, to November 22, 2011, which is considered as one of the most tumultuous periods of the US-Pakistan relationship.

The 61-year-old diplomat has been critical of Pakistan's military and political leadership.

The report of removal of his portrait from the Pakistani embassy here first appeared in Pakistani media and soon caught the attention of social media.

However, the Pakistani embassy website continues to have his name on the list of envoys posted in Washington.

The Pakistani embassy did not respond to a question by PTI in this regard but Haqqani said removal of his portrait in no way would "erase" the three years of history. In a tweet, he described this move as "juvenile".

This "would not stop me" from criticising "disastrous policies" of the government, Haqqani said.

Haqqani now heads the South and Central Asia division of Hudson Institute, a top American think-tank.

Early this year, Haqqani along with Lisa Curtis of 'The Heritage Foundation', another top American think-tank, had co-authored a report on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A few months later, recommendations of this report became the basis of the new Afghanistan and South Asia policy of the Trump administration.

Curtis now heads the South Asia division of the White House's National Security Council.

Soon after Trump announced his Afghanistan and South Asia policy, in which he sought more accountability from Pakistan, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif accused Haqqani of being behind the tough American policy against Pakistan.

Author of several books including 'Pakistan Between Mosque & Military' and 'Magnificent Delusions', Haqqani has been a harsh critic of some of the policies of Pakistani Army, in particular, use of terror groups and support to religious fundamentalists.

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