Monday December 11, 2023

Dr Asad assumes Foreign Secretary’s office today

December 05, 2022
Foreign Secretary-designate Dr Asad Majeed Khan. — APP/File
Foreign Secretary-designate Dr Asad Majeed Khan. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary-designate Dr Asad Majeed Khan is set to assume his assignment today (Monday) in the Foreign Office.

He is replacing Sohail Mahmood, who attained superannuation in September and since then Special Secretary Jauhar Saleem had been working in his place under “look after charge.”

Dr Asad Majeed Khan attained fame during his last days in Washington as envoy to the United States when his cable based on his conversation with the US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu was exploited by former prime minister Imran Khan to take political gains.

Asad Majeed was abruptly transferred to Brussels a day before Imran Khan waved the letter at a public meeting.

The Pentagon and State Department have repeatedly rejected Imran’s accusations, saying there was no veracity to them.

Dr Asad Majeed Khan, who will be completing his tenure of service in August next year, was tipped as Foreign Secretary in October last and he came to Islamabad for assuming the office but returned to Brussels due to a disputed audio leak. He was the ambassador to Belgium, the EU and Luxembourg.

During his diplomatic career spanning over 34 years, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan has held several key positions, such as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Japan and the US.

Earlier, he served as Additional Foreign Secretary (Americas), Director General (Americas), Director General (West Asia), Pakistan’s Charge d’ Affaires ad interim 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), Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, Director (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), Director (Economic Coordination), Second Secretary in the Pakistan Embassy in Tokyo and Desk Officer for the US and India during early years of his career.

Dr Asad Majeed earned his doctorate in International Economic and Business Law (LL.D.) from Kyushu University, Japan, and has been a resource person at various academic institutions in Pakistan, including International Islamic University, Lahore, University of Management Sciences, Foreign Trade Institute of Pakistan and Foreign Services Academy on International Trade, Law and WTO affairs.

Dr Asad Majeed Khan is assuming the office when the Foreign Office is facing a serious fiscal crunch and the country has enormous challenges before it on the external front. His appointment was made on immediate basis last week.

Meanwhile, the government has given an extension in service to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Moazzam Ahmad Khan, who was to retire last month. He has been granted six-month extension and will continue in London.