Didn’t happen: US embassy in Pakistan still falls short

Written by Hadi Mizban, CNN

From the embassy where US military might lives, it’s hard to imagine that there is still reason for worry on the planet.

A frantic call from a U.S. military helicopter pilot in 1999 changed the world — for most Afghans. The call helped save hundreds of Afghan lives and set the stage for the end of the Taliban, helping pave the way for the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Didn’t happen

Ali Zaidi, who was a translator for a U.S. Special Forces officer then, says it has been more than a decade since a U.S. soldier has been in touch to apologize for an unwarranted incident.

Still, the Pakistani government’s failure to seize the opportunity has long left Zaidi frustrated, which prompted a Twitter search for the embassy in Islamabad.

In a series of tweets, Zaidi says that “How Pakistan is considered an ally of the US in the war on terror”

“Three times the US Embassy put up the wrong numbers of the Embassy while I was a VSO (Volunteer with Resettlement Services Office) in Pakistan from 2012 to 2017 and US Open House this month.”

“This is another investigation (sic) due to a series of miscommunication between US and Pakistani officials on what should happen.”

“US Embassy put up wrong numbers of the Embassy and the Ambassador’s office despite assurances to us,” he tweeted.

“They should be put into hot water. Please look around…Nothing has changed.”

“Miriam, we should work together for peace, harmony and stability of the region.”

On the ‘war on terror’

Since the first time Zaidi called the US Embassy, in February 2001, it has only been visited once by a US citizen, and twice by spouses of U.S. citizens in 2017, he says. He has only been back to America twice.

The rest of his diplomatic credentials have remained intact, and his local hospitality and friendliness have continued — and earned him a bounty for helping even a single bomb disposal team after a suicide attack.

But despite the possibility of finally having one in the staff list, Zaidi says the call to the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan , comes too infrequently and not with any explanation or apology.

An effort was made at a recent US Open House event in Peshawar to share “America’s story” as to why Americans have come to Pakistan, says Ambassador David Hale, an avid basketball fan.

Despite living in Pakistan for more than two decades, Hale says he has yet to receive an official invitation to come back to the US Embassy in Islamabad.

“Why doesn’t the US Embassy tell us something?”

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