Has Washington Lost Interest?

Sartaj Aziz

For better or for worse, the Pakistan-US relationship bestowed near-celebrity status on Pakistani officials for nearly a decade. Government officials and diplomats found themselves speaking before standing-room only audiences and the bright lights of American television studios. When Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Washington as Foreign Minister in 2009, he too found himself in the spotlight of American media. Recently, however, the lights seem to have dimmed. It’s true that Jalil Jalani doesn’t have the star power of Husain Haqqani or Sherry Rehman, but there is a growing concern among some that Pakistani officials no longer have the attention of their Washington counterparts the way they once did.

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Can Jilani mend broken relations with the US?

Mamnoon Hussain and Jalil Jilani

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US has been termed as ‘toughest job in the world’. Much more than a mere ceremonial position, the Ambassador has the unenviable task of not only explaining Pakistan’s positions, but trying to negotiate with the world’s sole superpower that too often has a hard time appreciating a view other than its own. Having been without a permanent representative since the past seven months, our new representative, Jalil Abbas Jilani, arrived this week in Washington, DC to try to mend a relationship that many fear is rapidly approaching a breaking point. The question is, does he have the credibility to do it?

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