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Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: Former Foreign Secretary Riaz H Khokhar will be Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States as Sherry Rehman has resigned. She is returning home and expected to associate with the erstwhile ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for its transformation.


President Asif Zardari has already assigned her the task to work for the party. A journalist-turned-politician and diplomat Sherry Rehman served in Washington for 18 months and in between she offered her resignation twice. Sherry was appointed ambassador by former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in November 2011 in the wake of unceremonious exit of Hussain Haqqani, who was implicated in the memo scam.


Sherry has planned to run her think -ank namely Jinnah Institute that was heavily funded by the previous government. Riaz Khokhar, who is a distinguished diplomat, retired as Foreign Secretary, had served as an envoy in China, the United States and India.


Khokhar was very popular with the administration and developed links at the Capitol Hill during his stint in the United States. The appointment would be announced as soon as Nawaz Sharif takes the oath of the office as Prime Minister in a couple of days.


Well-placed diplomatic sources told The News here Tuesday that Sherry is relinquishing the charge in Washington this week and Dr Asad Majeed Khan, the deputy chief of mission (DCM), will assume the charge of acting Ambassador for United States. He will continue as long as the permanent ambassador isn’t consigned to the US capital.