Pakistani diplomat tells tale of 'mango diplomacy'

He had a lavish hotel and guests ready for his diplomatic party. But the mangoes?

March 13, 2012

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(Wikimedia Commons/Jahanzaib Zai)
Chaunsa mangoes.

Two years ago U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan and declared that country’s mangoes delicious. It was a taste test that kickstarted an earnest effort to open U.S. markets to Pakistani mangoes.

But this trade deal became something about more than just fruit; for a brief moment last summer, the entire future of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Pakistan seemed to be placed on the shoulders of a local Pakistani bureaucrat who had to launch the trade by throwing a big mango party in Chicago.

Odette Yousef brings us this story that spans a delectable fruit, international relations, a clicking beetle and a wayward delivery truck missing outside of Chicago.