Earlier this week, various mainstream news channels have carried reports of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Sahibzada Ahmed Khan, making a mockery of him self and the exalted office he represents; at an awards ceremony hosted by HUM TV last Sunday evening. In the midst of prominent film stars, Ahmed Khan was allegedly intoxicated at the event. He initially amused the stars and the audience; however through the course of his speech, he shocked quite a few people. Having assumed the role of master of ceremonies for the event, he went on a rant. Not only did he comment on veteran actor Javed Shaikh’s physique, he was audibly slurring his words. While the entertainment sector can engage casually and earnestly with the audience, it is not befitting for the High Commissioner to reduce himself to such antics. In my opinion he not only devalued the prestige of his office, but also the image of the country. Sources in the Pakistan High Commission at London, claimed that his actions were part of a script that went awry after he deviated from the originally planned performance. Whatever the case may be, it did not represent the notion of diplomatic norms. For those who have known Sahibzada, it was not entirely surprising. His diplomatic appointment, made in utter disregard of merit, in the last few days of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had shocked many. He’s still a grade 20 officer; who has not completed the required, National Management Course (NMC). Moreover he has never been an ambassador abroad, apart from being a deputy at Pakistan’s UN Mission in New York City. His track record of serving in diaspora centric missions speaks for itself; having been prematurely transferred from Toronto, where he had served as Consul General. Then there were allegations of his involvement in the scandal of gross misuse of over 30 armoured diplomatic cars procured for the Protocol Division. He was infact dedicated to obliging the Sharif family at a cost of millions of dollars. This is already under investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).Furthermore, there were accusations of fudging figures regarding, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s foreign visits before the Senate of Pakistan. Such comical behaviour, as exhibited by the current high commissioner, before hundreds of people and in a ceremony being telecast, is light years away from the standards set by distinguished set of envoys previously posted to London However, as has been frequently the case in ‘Purana Pakistan’, nothing of that sort mattered, so long he was in the good books of the Sharif and Khaqan Abbasi families. They bulldozed his appointment in violation of rules and merit, and despite the subsequent change of government, Ahmed Khan was able to assume the coveted assignment in London during July 2018. But, as per his colleagues in the Foreign Office, he hasn’t taken long to expose himself. My interaction with him over the phone a few months ago led me to the belief that he was unfit to serve as a serious diplomat at such an important station; as he did not inspire confidence, but rather seemed amenable to misrepresenting facts to his benefit. Moreover, my conversations with prominent members of the British-Pakistani community in London over the past few weeks have brought out the disappointment and outrage being widely felt in the diaspora community by Ahmed Khan’s antics. Many of them fondly recalled the high standards of personal conduct and decorum maintained by his predecessor, Syed Ibne Abbas. After all, the 1.5 million strong Pakistani diaspora in the UK looks up to the high commissioner; as a symbol of the country’s prestige, and of course, a role model. Such comical behaviour, as exhibited by the current high commissioner, before hundreds of people and in a ceremony being telecast, is light years away from the standards set by distinguished set of envoys previously posted to London, including Lt General (retd) Mohammad Yusuf Afridi, Sheheryar Khan, Akbar Ahmed and MaleehaLodhi. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has taken cognizance of the matter, and as per the ministry’s press release issued on Wednesday evening, Ahmed Khan has been asked to explain his comical conduct. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had also summoned him to the Foreign Office to personally explain his antics. Highly placed sources informed that Prime Minister Imran Khan received some calls from London on the matter and has reportedly taken the decision to permanently recall Ahmed Khan from his diplomatic duties in the British capital. If true, then it is a commendable act in light of the controversy generated by the inexcusable attitude of the envoy. It is hoped that PM Khan, who has set high standards for civil servants and diplomats will not allow this state of affairs to persist in the UK, which houses one of the largest and most influential Pakistani diaspora in the world. After all, the PM would prefer the best representation of Pakistan in a key diplomatic station like London. The writer is Diplomatic Correspondent, Daily Times. He can be reached at email@example.com and tweets @mhassankhan06 Published in Daily Times, September 16th 2018.