Pakistan has designated its ambassadors and high commissioners to 18 important world capitals including ambassadors to China and Japan, UAE, high commissioner to India and a new envoy for the European Union (EU).
In some capitals, Pakistan was without ambassadors and high commissioners for the last several months. With this, significant changes will be initiated in the Foreign Office as new Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood will make reshuffle of his choice.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to France Moeenul Haq has been appointed high commissioner in India vice Sohail Mahmood who was made Foreign Secretary. Moeen served as chief of protocol before proceeding to Paris three years ago. Naghmana Hashmi who is a senior grade 22 office of the Foreign Service has been appointed ambassador to China vice Masood Khalid who has availed himself of three extensions in service after attaining superannuation. Ironically Naghmana Hashmi who is currently ambassador in Belgium and EU headquarters has less than a year in the service. Ghulam Dastgir who is ambassador in Kuwait and viewed as an expert on the Middle East has been made Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ambassador Ghulam Dastgir has command over Arabic and did remarkable job during his posting in Kuwait.
The government is seeking the formal consent of the countries where the new high commissioners and ambassadors will be posted.
The foreign minister provided the information about the new envoys by disregarding the diplomatic tradition since the appointment is announced after receipt of formal consent called as ‘agreemaunt.’
The appointments were finalised after approval by Prime Minister Imran Khan following a detailed meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the PMO. Special Secretary of Foreign Affairs Imtiaz Ahmed has been appointed as the ambassador in Tokyo, Japan vice Dr Asad Majeed who left for Washington early this year as ambassador. Additional Foreign Secretary Zaheer Aslam Janjua has been appointed as ambassador in Brussels under a plan to enhance bilateral relations with the European Union (EU). Zaheer Janjua had earlier served as Pakistan’s ambassador in Russia. He had worked as chief of protocol. Additional Foreign Secretary Amna Baloch has been posted in Malaysia vice Nafees Zikria who was shifted to United Kingdom as high commissioner early this year. Javed Khattak would be the new ambassador in Portugal.
Saqlain Syeda has been posted as high commissioner to Kenya. She was earlier appointed high commissioner to Bangladesh but Dhaka didn’t accept her without assigning any reason. Rukhsana Afzal currently Director General for Middle East has been made ambassador in Singapore. Khalid Jamali would be the new ambassador to the Czech Republic and Ataul Munim Shahid would be the ambassador in Algeria. Sarfraz Ahmed would be the ambassador in Sudan and Imran Haider would be the new ambassador in Tajikistan. Major General (retd) Abdul Aziz Tariq would be the ambassador in Brunei while Major General (retd) Muhammad Khalid Rao would officiate in Bosnia Herzegovina. Khalid Majeed will be consul general in Jeddah while Ayesha Abbas Khan would be the new consul general in New York. Ghulam Dastgir who is currently ambassador in Kuwait has been made Pakistan’s ambassador in the UAE. He is replacing Moazzam Ahmad Khan who will become special secretary in the Foreign Office on return.
Pakistan’s ambassador in Russia Ambassador Qazi Khalilullah is completing his tenure in Moscow and attaining superannuation this month, has been granted six-month extension in his stay as envoy in Moscow. His wife is critically ill and he is getting her treatment in the Russian capital. Former Foreign Secretary Ms Tehmina Janjua had chalked out complete plan of postings and transfers on important slots but could not implement it due to want of approval of the prime minister and discussions at the highest echelon. Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood has revised the plan and brought about major changes in the same and a new scheme has been approved by the prime minister, the sources added. The changes were supposed to be introduced in February this year and got delayed due to unknown reasons. The sources pointed out that number of more appointments to senior as well as junior ranks are still to be made by the Foreign Office and they will be done after budget.