Obama orders establishment of Af-Pak support office

In a bid to strengthen the governments in troubled Afghanistan and Pakistan, the US will establish a Pakistan and Afghanistan Support Office in the State Department.

Updated: Aug 19, 2010, 09:24 AM IST

Washington: In a bid to strengthen the
governments in troubled Afghanistan and Pakistan, the US will
establish a Pakistan and Afghanistan Support Office (PASO) in
the State Department.

US President Barack Obama yesterday issued an
Executive Order regarding establishment of a separate Pakistan
and Afghanistan Support Office (PASO) in the State Department.
The office would be performing the specific project of
supporting executive departments and agencies in strengthening
the governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan, enhancing the
capacity of those governments to resist extremists, and
maintaining an effective US diplomatic presence in both
countries.

In his Order, Obama clarified that PASO would be
headed by an official of the Director level and was a
temporary organisation within the State Department.

The Office would support executive departments and
agencies in efforts to enhance civilian control and stable
constitutional government in Pakistan.

It would work to promote a more capable, accountable,
and effective government in Afghanistan that serves its people
and eventually can function, especially regarding internal
security, with limited international support, and to stimulate
an economy that will provide licit opportunity for the people
of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The PASO shall be based in Washington, Afghanistan and
Pakistan.

Under section 3161(a)(1) of title 5, United States
Code, under which PASO has been established, its maximum term
would be three years.

PTI