Donald Blome: The New United States Ambassador to Pakistan
Donald Blome, the new United States ambassador to Pakistan, on Monday, signaled Washington’s intention to move forth from the regime change controversy by engaging in two-way communication with the country’s political parties, government, and civil society.
Blome Taken Over The Charge
Ambassador Blome has taken over the charge of the US mission. He arrived in Pakistan late last month, at a time of unique opportunities and challenges.
Anti-American Sentiments Run Deep in Pakistan
It is pertinent to state that anti-American sentiments run deep in Pakistani society. The feelings, meanwhile, got inflamed after ex-prime minister Imran Khan alleged that he was removed through a US conspiracy for regime change. Khan ran a mass campaign calling for ‘freedom’ from ‘slaves of foreign powers’. This anti-American sentiment has become the foremost challenge for Washington in getting through its foreign policy goals in Pakistan.
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American Envoy In Islamabad After 4 Years
Ambassador Blome — the first full-time American envoy in Islamabad after a four-year gap — assumed the charge of his assignment when Kabul was apparently no longer a dominant issue in the bilateral ties following last year’s defeat of US forces from there at the end of a 20-year-long war.
Blome Rejected Imran Khan’s Allegation
Ambassador Blome reiterated the rejection of Khan’s ‘regime change’ allegation and said Washington was “pretty clear” about that.
“However, I think the best thing we can do going forward is to keep engaging across all levels of Pakistani society, as we have for the past 75 years!” he said, adding that the engagement wouldn’t be limited just to the government, but will expand to political leaders, the business community, civil society, and the youth.
He said he will “listen to and understand” what’s happening in Islamabad and “convey that understanding” to Washington. “At the same time, sharing US views and positions will be communicated as clearly and as transparently as possible with audiences here.”