Former US Ambassador in trouble for charges including illegal affair with female Pakistani journalist in Islamabad

Former US Ambassador in trouble for charges including illegal affair with female Pakistani journalist in Islamabad

The ex-US ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, is facing intensified scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) due to alleged "inappropriate actions," including his romantic involvement with a Pakistani journalist during his time in Islamabad.

The State Department has presented a wealth of evidence against Olson in a trial court, which is set to deliver a sentence next week. The allegations against him have unveiled aspects of his personal and professional conduct, including an extramarital relationship with journalist Muna Habib while serving as the US ambassador to Pakistan.

Although Olson enjoyed a distinguished 34-year career and retired from the State Department in 2016, newly disclosed court records have shed light on a different aspect of his life, as reported by The Washington Post.

One aspect of the investigation focused on Olson's failure to report a $60,000 gift of diamond jewelry from the emir of Dubai to his mother-in-law during his tenure as the head of the US Consulate in Dubai. Additionally, the FBI probed his involvement in facilitating a Pakistani American businessman, Imaad Zuberi, in paying $25,000 in tuition fees for Muna Habib, allowing her to attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The Washington Post's report triggered controversy by detailing how Ambassador Olson managed his personal and diplomatic affairs during and after his diplomatic service.

In court filings, Olson's attorneys argued that he had merely introduced someone he knew, which is a common practice for diplomats, and that there was nothing improper about the tuition payment since he was not in a relationship with Ms. Habib at that time.

The Post reported that Olson had undisclosed relationships with several Pakistani women, including Muna Habib, during his diplomatic assignment in Islamabad from 2012 to 2015.

In an article titled "Diamonds, girlfriends, illicit lobbying: The fall of a former ambassador," the newspaper revealed Olson's involvement in arranging financial support for Muna Habib's education at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He introduced Ms. Habib to Imaad Zuberi, a Pakistani-American businessman, who offered to cover her $25,000 tuition expenses.

Despite his esteemed 34-year career with the State Department, which included significant roles in Pakistan and the UAE, as well as challenging assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan, previously undisclosed court records have exposed Mr. Olson to investigations concerning his failure to report the diamond jewelry gift and his extramarital affair with a journalist in Pakistan during his ambassadorship in Islamabad