DAVID Hale
DAVID Hale

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump, who wants Pakistan to support his Afghan policy, is elevating his Islamabad envoy to a position that will give the diplomat a greater say in implementing his strategy for South Asia.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump nominated US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale to be the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the White House announced. It’s the third ranking position in the Department of State after the Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary. It is also the highest rank for a member of the foreign service.

Mr Hale, the US ambassador in Pakistan since 2015, is known in Washington’s political circles as a diplomat who strongly supports normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan.

Improvement in India-Pakistan ties is also a key component of the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy, which was annou­nced in August. The Trump administration wants both India and Pakistan to help create a situation in Afgha­nistan that would allow Washington to withdraw its troops without risking the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government.

Diplomat is known in Washington’s political circles as one who supports normalisation of India-Pakistan ties

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced in Kabul that the US was “counting on all the actors in the region” to support its efforts to hold fair and free elections in Afghanistan later this year.

“The Pakist­anis, too, need to understand that we need to have a set of elections [in Afghanistan] that do not have violence,” he said. “We’re counting on all the actors in the region to support this process.”

But policy makers in Washington believe that there could be no peace in Afghanistan unless both India and Pakistan support the effort and they cannot be on the same page until relations between South Asia’s two nuclear neighbours improve.

Apparently, the Trump administration believes that Mr Hale, who has built a network of support in Islamabad, can be useful in achieving this target.

If confirmed by the United States Senate, Mr Hale would replace Thomas A. Shannon who retired on June 4. He has also served in Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Nations.

In Washington, Mr Hale served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel, Egypt and the Levant; director for Israel-Palestinian Affairs and executive assistant to former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

He speaks Arabic, is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and a native of New Jersey.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018

Opinion

New engagement
19 Apr 2021

New engagement

Better Pak-India ties mean a better regional outcome.
Inequality and ideology
19 Apr 2021

Inequality and ideology

Hunger and want, and the constant reminder of inequality,may condition religious mobilisation, but they are not solely sufficient.
Ties of sentiment
19 Apr 2021

Ties of sentiment

Pakistan-UK relations have been remarkably stable and increasingly energised by the Pakistani diaspora.

Editorial

19 Apr 2021

Vaccine shortfall

THE hope that the slew of Covid-19 vaccinations approved for use since the end of last year would vanquish the ...
19 Apr 2021

Another package

FEW will disagree that infrastructure across Sindh — from the megalopolis of Karachi to the districts in the...
19 Apr 2021

Cricket triumph

TEAM Pakistan have a number of reasons to rejoice after their 3-1 T20 series win over hosts South Africa on Friday....
18 Apr 2021

More cabinet changes

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has reshuffled his cabinet yet again in what is obviously another attempt to shore up his...
Blocking social media
Updated 18 Apr 2021

Blocking social media

FOR four hours this week, all social media platforms in the country were shut down, a measure the government said ...
18 Apr 2021

Peasant rights in Sindh

IN a seminar held in Nawabshah recently, the Sindh Human Rights Commission and Hari Welfare Association reiterated a...