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Pak envoys posted on political grounds may be recalled: FO

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Islamabad | Friday, Aug 10 2018 IST
In what looked to be a word of caution for the non-career politically appointed ambassadors serving in different capitals across the world, the Foreign Office has suggested that many of them would soon have to pack their bags, according to a report in the Dawn on Friday.

"According to their contract, non-career ambassadors are deemed to have resigned, unless the new government decides otherwise," Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said in response to a question about the ambassador to the United States, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui.

The future of politically appointed ambassadors has been hotly debated since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government completed its tenure on May 31.

The PML-N had during its tenure appointed 21 ambassadors on political grounds, some of whom have already left on completion of their contract. The remaining ones, too, as per diplomatic norm, are expected to stand down with the change in government.

The two interesting cases of political appointees are that of Mr Siddiqui, who presented his credentials to President Trump three weeks after the PML-N government left office, and High Commissioner to Canada Tariq Azim, who was granted a two-year extension in the service contract shortly before the PML-N government's tenure ended.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had taken a strong position against the appointment of Mr Siddiqui and it may be difficult for the party to step back unless the other powerful stakeholders in the Foreign Policy arena intervene in his favour, about which many are already speculating.

Another high-profile political appointee, Permanent Representative at the UN in New York Dr Maleeha Lodhi, who met PTI chairman Imran Khan a few days ago for what the FO described as a private meeting, is being tipped to be retained in her position.

UNi XC-SNU 1441

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0442-1472416.Xml

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