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Pakistan appoints new ambassador to UAE

National

January 20, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is without an ambassador in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for six months after relinquishing Ambassador Ghulam Dastgir upon attaining superannuation in August last year. The government of Pakistan appointed Afzaal Mahmood as new ambassador for the UAE but no official versions has come about his movement to the new station. He was till recently country’s ambassador in Bahrain.

The UAE has stopped issuance of some types of visa for nationals from Pakistan since November last year and no further movement has been reported since then despite diplomatic efforts. Well-placed diplomatic sources told The News here Tuesday that Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood is well versed with the diplomatic intricacies of the Arab world, while working in the region and the government sought consent of the host government for his appointment late last year but no official announcement has been made about the same by the Foreign Office so far.

The sources pointed out that the absence of an ambassador in Abu Dhabi is causing trouble to the mission and expatriates belonging to Pakistan already facing difficulties in getting their problems resolved at high echelon. The UAE officials have been extending hand of cooperation towards people living/working in their country from Pakistan but the absences of envoy is felt at every level, the sources added. Pakistan has also planned to bring about diplomatic reshuffling in some of Arab countries, including change of ambassadors. In another development Dr Bilal Ahmed has been appointed as Director General Middle East (DGME) Division of the Foreign Office, replacing Muhammad Zahid, who has been designated to proceed on diplomatic assignment. Dr Bilal served in Riyadh for long and recently posted back in the country. He has assumed new assignment.

The change of ambassador in Saudi Arabia, is part of the significant reshuffling in the diplomatic assignments in the Middle East. The sources pointed out that Dr Bilal Ahmed has submitted a comprehensive working paper to the high ups of the Foreign Affairs for restoring warmth in the relationship with the uncomfortable Arab world soon after returning from the Saudi capital.