Over a dozen Pakistani ambassadors likely to be called back


–Caretaker govt may mull over the return of ‘political appointees’ after ECP grant

ISLAMABAD: Over a dozen ambassadors of the country, who were appointed by previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government at key positions across the globe, are likely to be called back by the caretaker government, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.

Well-informed sources disclosed that the caretaker government wanted these non-career diplomats under a 20 per cent reserved quota to be replaced. They said the caretaker government is mulling to call back these ambassadors following a grant of allowance by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to change and appoint new ambassadors across the globe. Moreover, the term of contract of 15 PML-N-appointed ambassadors serving in different countries has ended with the completion of the last government’s tenure, added sources.

“You may continue in your current until further orders,” said a letter issued by the Foreign Office dated 4th June 2018.

Earlier, the caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk prior to the formation of federal cabinet on 3rd June 2018 has extended the contracts of 15 ambassadors serving in different countries until further orders. However, caretaker government is now mulling to call back all the all political appointees in foreign countries under a quota reserved for appointing non- career persons as envoys.

A senior official at the Foreign Office, on condition of anonymity, said that the caretaker premier while granting extension in the contracts of political appointees in foreign countries on 3rd June has approved a summary of the Foreign Office, seeking extensions in their job contracts after the expiry of their contracts as envoys.

He said if the caretaker government does not call back these ambassadors even then all these political appointees in foreign countries will have to wait for a decision of the new government on whether they will be retained on current positions or not. He added that if not replaced by caretaker government, the ambassadors appointed by PML-N government will have to wait till the new government takes oath and witness a decision about their fate. Also, the new government may consider retaining the services of some of these ambassadors.

It is also learnt from the sources that there was no legal obstacle to call back the political appointees in the foreign countries after the expiry of their service contracts. They said the caretaker government is authorised to arrange the return of an ambassador if he/she is facing inquiries related to alleged corruption within their own country.

It is worth mentioning here that there were currently 14 countries where the PML-N-appointed ambassadors are currently serving. Some of those countries include China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK), Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bulgaria, Havana, Serbia, Jordan, the United Nations and the United States, among others.