FO reshuffling envoys to US, EU, Canada, Russia, KSA

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ISLAMABAD: Islamabad is reshuffling its ambassadors to important countries including US, EU, Canada, Russia and KSA.FILE - DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN  SEPTEMBER 16, 2021: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi looks on during talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS (Photo by Russian Foreign Ministry\TASS via Getty Images)FILE – DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN SEPTEMBER 16, 2021: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi looks on during talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS (Photo by Russian Foreign Ministry\TASS via Getty Images)

Pakistan’s ambassador for the United States Dr Asad Majeed has been designated as country’s new ambassador for the European Union (EU) and Belgium in place of Zaheer Aslam Janjua, who has been transferred to Ottawa as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada.

The outgoing envoy in Canada, Ameer Khurram Rathore, has already been appointed ambassador for Saudi Arabia as Islamabad has sought agrément, for his posting in Riyadh in place of Lieutenant General (retd) Bilal Akbar who served as the envoy in Saudi Arabia for less than a year.

An agrément, in diplomatic parlance, is an agreement between states to receive and facilitate members of a diplomatic mission. Zaheer Aslam Janjua, who had earlier served as Special Secretary with Foreign Office, is being sent as ambassador to Russia. Janjua is viewed as an energetic diplomat, who was very effective in EU and Belgium.

He maintained excellent relations of the mission with Pakistani expatriates in different parts of Europe. Well-placed diplomatic sources told The News here on Friday that Pakistan’s nomination of Ambassador Masood Khan as the new envoy for the United States has been conveyed to Washington.

The process for issuance of agrément for him would be initiated next week in the US capital. The US State Department usually takes about a month to approve an agrément, which is then returned for further processing.

The nominated ambassador also holds a series of meetings with senior members of the government. It is likely Ambassador Masood Khan would be tasked to bring about an improvement in ties between Islamabad and Washington. A new ambassador starts working from the day he arrives in Washington, but his formal designation begins from the day he submits his credentials to the US president.

This may take weeks or even months, depending on the US president’s schedule. The White House usually accommodates several ambassadors in one ceremony. Masood Khan was Azad Kashmir’s 27th president from Aug 25, 2016, to Aug. 25, 2021. He twice served as Pakistan’s permanent representative (PR) to the United Nations in Geneva and New York and as ambassador to China.

After retirement, he headed the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) in Islamabad before returning to his native Azad Kashmir as president. In the meanwhile, sources said that senior cadre of the Foreign Service isn’t comfortable about the appointment of superannuated officials on important foreign slots. AdChoices

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