WASHINGTON: Pakistan has appointed as its ambassador to the United States an envoy who was once expelled from New Delhi for “indulging in activities incompatible with his official status.”
Typically, that’s officialese for spying, but in that 2003 episode, Jalil Abbas Jilani was packed off from New Delhi for allegedly supplying cash to the Hurriyat leadership.
Jilani, currently Pakistan’s foreign secretary, has been named by the Nawaz Sharif government as the country’s ambassador to Washington, filling a high-profile post that has remained vacant for several months after the resignation of Sherry Rehman, who was appointed by the Zardari-Bhutto’s PPP and who quit when the new Sharif’s PML came to power.
Jilani meantime has kissed and made up with New Delhi, where he counts many friends despite the 2003 contretemps. He has visited India many times since then and has even met BJP leader, L KAdvani, who was the home minister when Jilani was expelled. In fact, it is a measure of New Delhi’s inconsistent approach to Pakistan that Jilani was even allowed to meet the Hurriyat leadership some years after he was expelled for bankrolling them.
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