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Pakistan's Haroon Returns to UN, Counters "Back Slapping," Not Replaced

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 20 -- Amid reports that Pakistan's lead Ambassador at the UN Abdullah Hussain Haroon had resigned, Inner City Press back in July asked the Pakistani mission if it could confirm or deny.

  "Cannot confirm," came the answer. But Haroon was not seen at the UN. Diplomats told Inner City Press with a know-it-all air of certainty that Pakistan's Ambassador to China had been named to replace Haroon.

  And then on Thursday Haroon re-appeared. At the Security Council stakeout he greeted Inner City Press, wearing a broad hat and holding a white cane. His spokesman was next to him grinning.

  Once inside the Security Council, Haroon delivered a speech on Afghanistan that was notably different than those of other Council members.

  He read from newspapers and from UN reports; he named a guardian angel program in which unidentified "angels" are authorized to shoot anyone threatening Coalition forces. (Another Ambassador, requesting and granted anonymity, opined that Haroon would read out a telephone directory and make it as interesting as on Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. Another called him the most learned diplomat on the Council.)

   Afterward Inner City Press asked Haroon not only about Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, but also about the rumors of him leaving. He said that he prepared his speech to counteract Council "backslapping," and added,"Well, I'm back temporarily."

  But to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of his replacement were greatly exaggerated. Watch this site.

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