Govt appointed 15 non-career envoys in 2 years

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ISLAMABAD – The seriousness of the PPP-led coalition government in handling the country’s foreign affairs could be gauged from the fact that 15 out of the total 32 ambassadors appointed in 2009-10 were non-career or handpicked people.
The foreign ministry documents available to Pakistan Today revealed that during 2009-10, 32 career/non-career ambassadors and high commissioners were appointed at the Pakistan missions abroad.
“The appointment of handpicked contract ambassadors/high commissioners other than from the foreign service of Pakistan is solely the prerogative of the prime minister/head of government while the criteria followed in the appointment of career ambassadors and high commissioners include merit, seniority and professional competence,” said a foreign ministry official.
The considerations involved in the appointments of envoys abroad include competence, fitness, administrative experience and other professional capabilities. The list of 15 non-career ambassadors contains retired generals, businessmen and agriculturists.
As per the documents, Nawabzada Aminullah Khan Raisani was posted in Damascus, Syria, on Aug 22, 2009; Shaheen A Gillani was appointed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on January 15, 2009, M Asghar Afridi in Doha, Qatar, on March 13, 2010; Maj-Gen (retd) Ali Baz in Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 30, 2009; Maj-Gen. (retd) Tahir Mehmood Qazi at Kualalumpur, Malaysia, on January 9, 2009; Maj-Gen (retd) Ghazanfar Ali in Ukraine on April 30, 2009; Shahid Malik in New Delhi, India, on July 9, 2009; Jamil Ahmed Khan in Tripoli, Libya, on April 7, 2009; Shafqat Saeed in Paris, France, on October 1, 2009;
Gul Haneef in Lisbon, Portugal, on April 18, 2009; Umar Khan Alisherzai in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on August 12, 2009; Lt-Gen (retd) Salahuddin Begawan in Bandar Seri, Brunei, Darussalam, on September 16, 2009; Prof Dr Syed Khawaja Alqama, in Sana’a, Yemen, on September 14, 2009; Maj-Gen (retd) Asif Duraiz Akhtar inAbuja, Nigeria, on December 1, 2009; and Maj-Gen (retd) M Siddique was posted as the country’s high commissioner to Mauritius on March 21, 2010.
The career diplomats appointed during the said period are as under: Fauzia Nasreen was appointed in Canberra on November 28, 2009; Noor M Jadmani in Tokyo on January 26, 2009; Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in The Hague on January 30, 2009; Mian Gul Akbar Zeb in Ottawa on May 1, 2009; Ra’ana Rahim in Beirut on August 22, 2009; Kausar Ahsan Iqbal in Sofia on August 22, 2009; Khurshid Anwar in Vienna on September 1, 2009; Shahid MG Kiani in Hanoi on October 8, 2009;
Masroor A Junejo in Nairobi on December 1, 2009; Iftikhar Aziz in Kuwait on July 5, 2009; Akhtar Ali Sulehri in Male on July 24, 2009; Abdul Matin Khan in Dakar on August 23, 2009; M Waheed-ul-Hassan in Tashkent on September 12, 2009; Qasim Raza Muttaqi in Budapest on October 2, 2009; Sohail Mahmood in Bangkok on October 20, 2009; Mohsin Razi in Manila on October 28, 2009; and Syed Ibne Abbas in Wellington on January 16, 2010.