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Sherry Rehman named new envoy to U.S.

  |   Nov. 23, 2011 at 7:47 AM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- U.S.-educated Sherry Rehman Wednesday was named Pakistan's ambassador to Washington, succeeding Husain Haqqani who resigned over the so-called "Memogate" issue.

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani announced the selection of Rehman, 50, former information minister and daughter of a prominent Pakistani family, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported. She is currently a member of the National Assembly.

Haqqani, who had been the focus of recent accusations in a memo that he tried to enlist U.S. help to control the military in his country, resigned Tuesday. The APP reported Gilani had asked Haqqani to resign as a result of the memo.

Haqqani has denied the accusations. The controversy comes at a time when Pakistan's relations with the United States remain strained following the May killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces in his sprawling compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.

APP reported Gilani in his meeting with Rehman instructed her to work toward strengthening bilateral ties with emphasis on trade.

Rehman, a graduate of Smith College, has years of experience in journalism and had been information minister in the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. She is a strong advocate of women's empowerment and minority rights, Pakistan's Express Tribune reported.

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