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Envoys to important world capitals changed

Top Story

October 27, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday announced the names of new ambassadors to important world capitals. Normally, the names are made public after there is an agreement from the countries of postings.

Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Office here, Qureshi said the government was considering replacing current ambassadors in Washington and London among other key capitals of the world with career diplomats instead of political appointees.

Important is the change in Washington where Dr Asad Majeed Khan is to replace Ali Jahangir Siddiqui. An outstanding senior diplomat, Nafees Zakaria, familiar with an earlier posting in London, is being sent as High Commissioner to London to replace Sahibzada Ahmed Khan who was recently recalled to Islamabad for his disgraceful public behaviour.

Senior diplomat Raja Ali Ijaz is being considered for the post of ambassador to Saudi Arabia, while Raza Bashir Tarar is being considered for Canada, Syed Ahsan Raza Shah for Doha, Qatar, Hamid Asghar Khan for Rabat, Morocco, Sheharyar Akbar Khan for Belgrade, Serbia, Sahibzada Ahmed Khan for Havana, Cuba, and Ahmed Amjad Ali as the new Consul General for Dubai.

Earlier, former air chief Sohail Aman was designated as Pakistan’s ambassador to Qatar but the government dropped the proposal in this regard. Meanwhile, eulogizing the services of Pakistan’s permanent representative (PR) in the United Nations (UN) Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, the government has decided to retain her at the UN Headquarters.

Diplomatic sources told The News that all the transfers and postings announced by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday had been made purely on merit. Former Pakistan Navy Admiral (retd) Hasham bin Siddique, who conducted the recent successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia, has been removed and Pakistan’s Counsel General in New York Raja Ali Ejaz has been made ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan’s ambassador for the United States Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, who assumed the office early this year, tendered his resignation immediately after the change of the government in Pakistan and now he has been replaced with Dr. Asad Majeed Khan, who is yet another competent diplomat. He is currently the country’s ambassador in Japan.

Ali Jehangir Siddiqui had attained unprecedented popularity among the Pakistani diaspora and he established inroads into the power centres of the US capital as he was doing diplomatic assignment in an excellent manner.

Raza Bashir Tarrar will become the high commissioner to Canada vice Tariq Azeem Khan. Raza is also viewed as an admirable choice, the sources said. Pakistan’s High Commissioner for the United Kingdom Sahibzada Ahmad has been transferred to Havana as Pakistan’s Ambassador for Cuba. Sahibzada Ahmad Khan is a retired officer of Pakistan Army, maintaining strict discipline in his mission. He served as Chief of Protocol with outstanding performance. Nafees Zakaria belonging to Karachi will replace him, who is currently the high commissioner in Malaysia. Retired Brigadier Javed Hussain has been removed as Counsel General Dubai and Ahmad Amjad Ali will be replacing him. Brigadier Javed served Nawaz Sharif as his military secretary in his first stint and known for uprightness.

Hamid Asghar Khan, who is another energetic diplomat, will replace Nadir Chaudhary in Rabat as ambassador for Morocco. Nadir was the first ambassador who mailed his resignation on induction of the PTI government. He was a close lieutenant of Nawaz Sharif.

Sheharyar Akbar Khan, who did a good job as Counsel General Jeddah, has been made ambassador to Serbia. The sources said that few new ambassadors/high commissioners will be posted and transferred in a couple of weeks. The government is considering to grant an extension to Pakistan’s ambassador in China Masood Khalid, who is also doing good job in Beijing, the sources added.

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