The government finally appointed Asad Majeed Khan, a Grade 22 officer and presently Pakistan’s ambassador to Belgium and European Union, as the 31st foreign secretary of Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: The government finally, after waiting for several months, appointed Asad Majeed Khan, a Grade 22 officer and presently Pakistan’s ambassador to Belgium and European Union, as the 31st foreign secretary of Pakistan.
Ambassador Khan, a career diplomat who had returned from the US in March after serving there for his appointed term, got caught in the eye of the storm and hit the headlines when former prime minister Imran Khan and his foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi accused him of being involved in the Cybergate scandal while trying to topple the government.
Khan replaces Sohail Mehmood who retired in the end of September and since then former ambassador Jauhar Saleem has been serving as the acting foreign secretary, while the Foreign Office dragged its feet in trying to fill in what is a routine replacement.
“Besides being vindicated, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan was honestly the best choice available in the Foreign Office,” a top diplomat told The News. Without disclosing the reason for this unwarranted delay, the diplomat responded, “Dher aaya darust aaya (though decision was late it was the correct one).”
“Yes this was one reason. There were apprehensions at the Foreign Office that if the government orders an inquiry into the cypher incident, Ambassador Asad Majeed would not be able to give full attention to his duties but rather would spend time attending meetings of the inquiry,” diplomatic sources told this correspondent. On Friday, the Foreign Office while announcing Khan as the new foreign secretary said he was a career Pakistan Foreign Service officer and with an impressive CV of an outstanding diplomat who had been greatly wronged by his own prime minister and foreign minister.
During his diplomatic career spanning over 34 years, Khan has held several key diplomatic assignments. He served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Pakistan’s ambassador to Japan; additional foreign secretary (Americas); director general (Americas); director general (West Asia); Pakistan’s charge d’affaires to the United States; deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C.; additional secretary (Foreign Affairs) at the President’s Secretariat; director general (United Nations); and minister-counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations. He holds a Doctorate in International Economic and Business Law (LL.D.) from the Kyushu University, Japan, and has been a resource person at a number of academic institutions. He is married and has two children.