Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 10, 2012

Newsline: A Diplomat in a Gilded Cage, Feeling Trapped and Not Entirely Safe

Just a few months ago, Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, brimmed with charm and confidence as he hosted lavish dinner parties for diplomats, generals, journalists and White House aides in Washington. Now Mr. Haqqani is confined to the regal hilltop residence of Pakistan’s prime minister, tangled in a legal battle over a controversial memo that he says has put his life in jeopardy. Hounded by what he and his supporters say is a vicious smear campaign by a nationalist, right-wing media, and fearful of being kidnapped or killed by the country’s powerful spy agency, Mr. Haqqani has spent the past five weeks sequestered in a guest suite in the premier’s residence overlooking the capital. He has left the compound just three times – twice for legal proceedings and once for a dental appointment – each time flanked by a heavy security detail. As ambassador, Mr. Haqqani, a 55-year-old former journalist and Boston University professor, glided about Washington pressing Pakistan’s case to Congress and administration officials, and dropping news tips to reporters. Now he feels cooped up. “I can go out for a walk, but it is essentially like a house arrest,” Mr. Haqqani said in an interview.



Newsline: Haitian Embassy Agent in TurksCaicos Denies Involvement in Human Trafficking

An agent for the Haitian embassy in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) was forced to deny allegations that he and the Haitian government would be involved in human trafficking. These accusations are coming from the local Haitian community in TCI who also would allege that the embassy agent, Donald Metellus, would be a participant in the victimization of children born in TCI to Haitian nationals. Metellus claims that persons in the TCI Haitian community are trying to ruin his reputation. “The allegation are as quoted by him that I have being taking money from the Haitian Government on behalf of the illegal Haitians who migrate to the Turks and Caicos Islands by boats on several occasions, to feed them; and also accused me of being dishonest and saying that I have also being paying the TCI Immigration authorities not to issue documents to Haitian children who born in this territory…” Metellus says he has been assisting TCI immigration officials and at not time received money from the Haitian government of from the TCI government and also added that at time he has had to spend his own money to assist detained Haitians who arrive by boat. The TCI Ministry of Immigration and Border Control would be spending millions of dollars to repatriate Haitian migrants entering the country by illegal means.