New envoys to India, China, appointed

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday approved appointments of over two dozen ambassadors in various countries, including key capitals of New Delhi and Beijing. “We have appointed people on important state portfolios on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a video statement, adding that the decision came after a detailed meeting with the prime minister earlier in the day, who formally approved the new appointments.

The appointments were long due as several Pakistani missions were without envoys since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government took charge in August last year. Among the appointees include Mueenul Haq, the current ambassador to France, who has now been named as Pakistan’s high commissioner to New Delhi. The post of high commissioner to India fell vacant after Sohail Mehmood was appointed foreign secretary.

Mueen is a career diplomat and has previously served as chief of protocol at the Foreign Office. He will be taking up the new diplomatic assignment at a time when Narendra Modi is expected to return to power for the next five years following the recent elections. Qureshi expressed the hope that Mueen will perform his new job with the best of his abilities.

Confirming the major appointments, Qureshi said Naghmana Hashmi, another career diplomat, is being sent to China. She will replace Masood Khalid, the incumbent envoy to China, after completion of his tenure. Similarly, Additional Secretary Imtiaz Ahmad has been appointed ambassador to Japan while Zaheer Janjua, currently serving as additional secretary to Europe, will look after the Pakistani mission in Brussels.

Qureshi said that Additional Secretary Amina Baloch has been appointed ambassador in Malaysia, Javed Khattak in Portugal, Saqlain Sayeda in Nairobi, Kenya, Rukhsana Afzal in Singapore, Khalid Jamali in Czech Republic and Ataul Munim in Algeria. Imran Haider has appointed as ambassador in Dushanbe, Major General (r) Abdul Aziz Tariq in Brunei and Major General (r) Khalid Rao in Bosnia Herzegovina.

The foreign minister said the newly appointed council generals include Khalid Majeed in Jeddah and Ayesha Abbas Khan in New York. He said Muazzam Ali Khan is being appointed special secretary at the foreign ministry while Ambassador in Kuwait Ghulam Dastagir will replace him in Abu Dhabi.

Qureshi said Qazi Khalilullah, the current ambassador to Moscow, is being given an extension of six months because of his performance.

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