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Ex-Pakistani envoy gets US award

Pakistan,Diplomacy,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Sun, 29 Apr 2012 IANS

Islamabad, April 29 (IANS) Former Pakistani ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani has been given an award by a US non-profit group for his distinguished service for the advancement of public discourse on foreign policy, Geo News reported Sunday.


The American Committees on Foreign Relations (ACFR) presented the award during its 17th annual conference in Washington April 26-27.


ACFR president John Brierley said Haqqani as an ambassador, scholar and journalist, has rendered exemplary service, and appreciated his role in promoting and improving relations between Pakistan and the US.


Haqqani said the US should not view Pakistan only in the purview of terrorism, and that Washington should make Islamabad aware of its viewpoint without using force.


Patience and perseverance were crucial in diplomacy, Haqqani said.


Haqqani was forced to resign last year after Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed he had asked him to pass on a memo from President Asif Ali Zardari to then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, seeking help from the US government in case of a military coup in Pakistan following the killing of Osama bin Laden.


Haqqani was recalled from Washington and faced a Supreme Court enquiry.


In an interview with Geo News, Haqqani said Saturday he was determined not to return to Pakistan for the time being, due to health concerns but also because his life was still in danger.


The former ambassador referred to the assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer, and said he would not take the risk of travelling to Pakistan because he could be killed by any one terming him a traitor.


"I went abroad because I am not a criminal and there were no cases pending against me. Nor am I under trial," he said.


He said there was no truth in the alleged memo and the nation knew it.


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