Over a Dozen Pak Ambassadors Considered ‘Political Appointees’ Likely to Be Called Back

JUN 29, 2018: More than a dozen ambassadors appointed by previous PML(N)-led government at key positions across the globe are likely to be called back by the caretaker government.

Currently, in 14 different countries PM-N-appointed envoys (political appointees) are heading the missions. 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. The PML-N appointed envoy to U.S. Ali J. Siddiqui took charge of the embassy in Washington on May 30 — the last day of the elected government.

Siddiqui replaced Aizaz Chaudhry in Washington, a career diplomat who previously served as foreign secretary before being appointed the ambassador to the US.

According to The Express Tribune, Siddiqui’s appointment raised many questions with diplomats expressing surprise over the decision.

Local daily Pakistan Today cites well-informed sources saying the caretaker government wants these non-career diplomats previously appointed under the 20 per cent reserved quota 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, sources said.

Earlier, the caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk prior to the formation of federal cabinet on 3rd June 2018 had extended the contracts of the 15 ambassadors serving in different countries until further orders. “You may continue in your current until further orders,” said a letter issued by the Foreign Office dated 4th June 2018.

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.

According to sources cited by the paper, 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 authorized to arrange the return of an ambassador if he/she is facing inquiries related to alleged corruption within their own country.

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