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September 16, 2018

Diplomat says Pak HC to UK victim of ‘malicious campaign’


September 16, 2018

LONDON: A senior diplomat at the Pakistan High Commission has said that Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Sahebzada Ahmed Khan is victim of a malicious campaign against his position.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the senior diplomat said that Sahebzada Ahmed Khan has been targeted according to a plan and he did nothing wrong at the awards ceremony.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday directed the high commissioner to return to his motherland to provide an explanation over his alleged irresponsible activities during an award show in the British capital. Shah Mehmood Qureshi took notice of the behaviour of Sahebzada Ahmed Khan after he was briefed on the matter as reports pertaining to the said incident surfaced on social and electronic media. Sahebzada Ahmad Khan is currently in Islamabad and has met senior officials at the Foreign Office.

The senior diplomat here in London explained that the high commissioner was “the guest of honour at the Pakistani film/TV awards” where the organisers requested him to present the “Life-time Achievement Award”. He said that the organisers requested the high commissioner to “make this segment a bit entertaining, by adding a little sense of humour” and that make it light and not too serious and formal -- as was demand of the show.

The diplomat said the high commissioner’s lively demeanour has attracted criticism from some quarters in the media, despite the fact that there was applause and appreciation from the audience.

“This is part of a malicious campaign orchestrated against the high commissioner since his arrival in London in April,” said the diplomat, adding that Sahebzada Ahmed Khan is an experienced and highly professional diplomat who has served Pakistan diligently.

The News tried to contact Sahebzada Ahmed Khan, but his phone was off due to his presence in Islamabad. Sahebzada Ahmad Khan is a Twitter savvy and a non-bureaucratic type diplomat who has connected with the community with ease in a short span of time.

Despite the fact that he arrived in London with a tag of serving as chief of protocol with Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he has in these short six weeks proved himself to be a hardworking diplomat and has reached out to the mainstream society.

A cursory glance of his Twitter account shows that he has already met several British MPs, senior officials at the British Foreign Office including UK's special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, General Nick Carter, Chief of Defence Staff, UK's senior most military officer, and Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of UK's Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, among others. He spoke at a conference on the CPEC in the House of Commons to present Pakistani point of view and won applause.

Soon after reaching London, Sahebzada Ahmed Khan announced that the High Commission in London and all Pakistani consulates in UK will give to elderly Pakistanis and disabled members of the community their official documents attested at their door step and they don’t have to visit Pakistani missions any longer.

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