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 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.
The big question, and issue to watch for, is this: will Cameron Munter actually be replaced, or will he be the last US Ambassador to Pakistan while the US government moves from classifying Pakistan as “friend” to “enemy” in this alleged “war on terror”?!?
Let’s see, now: the US government refuses to apologize for an horrendous attack last year which left over 20 Pakistani military dead; Pakistan has closed all roads leading into Afghanistan, making the issue of bringing troops and supplies into Afghanistan a financial and practical nightmare; and the US has resumed its extrajudicial drone assassinations in Pakistan, despite Pakistani public and political outcry against it.
Forgive me, but this is not how geopolitical “friends” treat each other.
Summer begins right after Labor Day, and that is only about 3 weeks away.
I would not bet on Ambassador Cameron being replaced by the US government any time soon, after his departure from office.
Secretary of State Clinton, in very public statements, has all but accused the Pakistani government of harboring Al Queada leadership in its borders, and doing absolutely nothing to rout them out.
The next step here is definitely NOT going to be a strengthening of ties, but most likely, a rapid escalation of both covert and overt US government-led hostilities against the Pakistani government which the US hopes will result in regime change, and a more Western-pliant leadership in Islamabad.
However, I would strongly caution those in the bowels of power in DC of the following; the Pakistani people are very angry at what the US “war on terror” has cost them, and that anger may well manifest in a very anti-US government sweeping the next round of general elections, due to be held next year.