- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2002

'A cultural bridge'
The Senate praised Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi for her diplomatic skills as it bade farewell to the envoy, who was returning to Pakistan after serving two tours as ambassador in Washington.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week inserted a statement in the Congressional Record recognizing Miss Lodhi's contributions in the war on terrorism and in the reduction of tensions between Pakistan and India.
"Ambassador Lodhi has served her country with exceptional distinction," the Delaware Democrat said. "Her prior experience as both an academic and a journalist has proved to be a great advantage. She has always articulated her government's position with the precision of a scholar and the persuasive reach of a news analyst."
Miss Lodhi, a former newspaper editor, first came to Washington under Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who claimed to represent the modern face of Pakistan. Mrs. Bhutto's government collapsed in scandal and corruption, and Miss Lodhi returned to Pakistan.
The succeeding government also suffered widespread corruption and was overthrown by Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Miss Lodhi surprised some of her old colleagues by agreeing to return to Washington to represent Gen. Musharraf. She explained many times that Pakistan had been falling into chaos under previous governments and drastic measures were needed to halt the spreading corruption.
Mr. Biden added that Miss Lodhi "served as a cultural bridge."
"She has played an invaluable role in harmonizing the various goals shared by Pakistan and the United States, goals ranging from advancing the international war on terror to de-escalating nuclear tensions in South Asia," he said.
Mr. Biden praised Miss Lodhi for representing the "many voices of moderation, tolerance and progressive thinking all across the Muslim world."
"Ambassador Lodhi has by her words and her personal example helped bridge the chasm of understanding between the United States and the Muslim world."

Envoy to Pakistan
The Senate last week also confirmed a new ambassador to Pakistan, promoting the current charge d'affaires to the position.
Nancy Jo Powell has been acting ambassador since May, after Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin returned to Washington. President Bush nominated her for the position in June.
Miss Powell is a former ambassador to the West African nation of Ghana. She also has served as acting secretary of state for African affairs.

Diplomatic affair
Former Ambassador Penne Percy Korth is doing her part to promote diplomatic relations as she prepares to marry Andrew Peacock, former Australian ambassador to the United States.
"This is a very happy bilateral relationship between the United States and Australia," she told Embassy Row yesterday.
The two ex-diplomats are planning a fall wedding in Washington and later will move to Sydney, where Mr. Peacock will become president of Boeing Corp. in Australia.
She served as ambassador to the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius during the first Bush administration. He was in Washington from 1997 to 2000.
As she prepared for her wedding vows, Embassy Row reminded her of an old saying about diplomats.
When a diplomat says yes, he means maybe. When he says maybe, he means no. And if he says no, he is no diplomat.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Haidar Abdel Shafi, chairman of the Red Crescent Society for the Gaza Strip and chairman of the United Palestinian Appeal. He addresses invited guests of the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine.
Enhebatu Togochog, of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, who addresses the Congressional-Executive Commission on China at 2:30 p.m. in room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
The leaders of the Iraqi National Congress, who hold a 1 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.

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