Pakistan gets its first woman foreign secretary

Mamosa Report — Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday appointed Pakistan’s first-ever woman foreign secretary and retains the portfolio of Foreign Affairs.

Tehmina Janjua, currently serving as Pakistan’s Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in Geneva since October 2015, will assume the post in the first week of March, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

During previous PPP-led government, Pakistan had appointed Hina Rabbani Khar – its first ever lady Foreign Minister.

Janjua is a seasoned diplomat with a career spanning over three decades. She holds master’s degrees from Islamabad’s Quaid-i-Azam University and from New York’s Columbia University.

From 2011 to 2015 she served as ambassador to Italy and before that as spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry in 2011.

She has largely been maintaining a low profile with no major ambassadorial postings either in the USA or any other UN Security Council member country and it is widely believed that she is directly picked by Sharif.

At the headquarters, she worked at the foreign secretary’s office, as director general, strategic planning.

Last year, she had raised the Kashmir issue at the UNHRC.

As a diplomat, Janjua has been vocal on human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and said, “Ending human rights violations in Occupied Valley is the first essential step towards resolution of this long-standing dispute.”

She has also pointed out on various forums that people in Kashmir were being bludgeoned and brutalized by India and blamed Pakistan’s eastern neighbor for sponsoring terrorism in the country.

Analysts foresee challenges ahead for Janjua, who is taking office as Islamabad grapples with diplomatic tensions with neighboring India and Afghanistan on its eastern and western borders respectively, while also being nervous over relations with its longtime ally, the United States, under new President Donald Trump, Pakistan Today reports.

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