By Jill Dougherty and Adam Levine
The chill between the United States and Pakistan continues in 2012, a condition that could contribute to a tough start for Pakistan's new ambassador to Washington.
Sherry Rehman will arrive to take up her duties in Washington by the end of the week, a senior Pakistani official confirmed to CNN.
Rehman, a longtime member of Pakistan's ruling People's Party and a confidant of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is a staunch supporter of human rights - a stance that could help in her new position, but she's got her work cut out for her.but she's got her work cut out for her.
Pakistan continues to hold the United States at a distance after the disastrous NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the border with Afghanistan. The U.S. military admitted error, but not enough to satisfy the Pakistanis whose own investigation offered a different take on what went wrong.
As a result, key supply lines into Afghanistan continue to be shut. The CIA has put its drone program on ice for the time being, it seems, and U.S. military personel left the country late last year at the request of the Pakistanis. FULL POST
Could a debate taking place within the Obama administration over how to respond to the deaths of two dozen Pakistan soldiers in NATO airstrikes last week further exacerbate already-frayed ties with Islamabad and complicate U.S. efforts to end the war in Afghanistan?
While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have called the incident a "tragedy" and offered condolences, the U.S. government has not gone as far as to offer a formal apology. Some in the State Department believe a show of remorse is necessary to help save the relationship with Pakistan, already badly damaged over the U.S. raid into Pakistan to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, from completely unraveling. But the White House has balked.