Robin Raphel probe not to US impact ties with S.Asian countries

Robin Raphel probe not to US impact ties with S.Asian countries

A federal counter intelligence probe against a former top American diplomat, who also lobbied for Pakistan post retirement, would not impact America's ties with South Asian countries, a US official has said.

"We have a range of high-level officials who work with a range of countries in this region and others every single day. We don't feel that will be impacted," the US State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki, told reporters at her daily news conference.

Her comments came after it was reported yesterday that the former Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robin Raphel, one of the highest ranking female diplomats in the US, was subject of a FBI investigation.

Till early this month Raphel, 67, was a senior advisor to the State Department on civilian aid to Pakistan.

After her retirement, she had returned to the private sector and worked as a lobbyist for Pakistan.

For the past few years she had returned to the State Department as a private contractor and was advising the office of the Special Representatives for Afghanistan and Pakistan on regional issues.

During her tenure as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia in the Clinton Administration, she had a strong view on India and on Kashmir, which was vehemently resented by India.

In New Delhi, she is seen as someone having pro-Pakistan leanings.

The FBI has searched her residence and sealed her State Department office on alleged charges of taking classified information home from the State Department. Psaki yesterday said that Raphel is no longer a State Department employee and her cont

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