Speculation is growing around the security of Husain Haqqani's job.

Dawn, one of Pakistan's leading newspapers, reported that the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan is due to be replaced because of his involvement in negotiating an unpopular clause under the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan bill.

Abdul Wajid Rana, economic minister of the Pakistani embassy in the U.S., stated Oct. 14 that "he [Haqqani] has not been fired" and remains the U.S. ambassador to the Asian nation.

Haqqani was reported as "attending to his official duties." He recently took part in a presentation of 18 F-16s in Fort Worth, Texas for the Pakistani government. The planes were part of the bill's provisions.

The was no mention of Haqqani when Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met with Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to address concerns over the bill's conditions.

"We must address the concerns and fears expressed in Pakistan," Qureshi said. "We will not allow Pakistan's sovereignty to be compromised and will not allow anybody to micro-manage our affairs."

Congress is worried about the Pakistan military's reputation for leniency with the Taliban, which could disrupt the effectiveness of any aid efforts by the U.S. in the Asian country. The bill includes conditions that require the Pakistani military's commitment to anti-terrorism and agreement to an assessment by the Pakistani government of such commitment. Local media are questioning whether the bill will ruin the delicate relationship between Pakistan's government and military.

Earlier this month, the ambassador denied the accusations.

"These conditions do not subvert Pakistan's national interests as Pakistan is already committed to these policies," he said, as quoted by the Associated Press.

In September, Congress passed the bill, which will provide Pakistan with $7.5 billion in U.S. civilian aid over the next five years. On Oct. 15, President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, with the controversial conditions intact. The statute surprisingly included a "joint explanatory statement" to clarify the purpose of the legislation. The statement, Kerry told BBC, explains that the measure "does not seek in any way to compromise Pakistan's sovereignty, impinge on Pakistan's national security interests or micromanage any aspect of Pakistani military or civilian operations."

About the author

  • Moria Byrne

    Moria joined Devex's Washington bureau in September 2009 as an international development correspondent fellow. She is a communications specialist with a background in international development public relations, publishing, education and journalism. Moria has worked for Catholic Relief Services and, as a Peace Corps volunteer, lived in the Philippines for two years.