ISLAMABAD: Tehmina Janjua on Monday assumed charge as foreign secretary becoming the first woman in Pakistan’s history to head the crucial foreign ministry.
Janjua, who is a career diplomat and was serving as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, replaced Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry after he was posted as the country’s envoy to Washington.
Although, Hina Rabbani Khar served as foreign minister during the Pakistan Peoples Party’s government, this is the first time in history that any woman climbed up the ladder in the foreign ministry.
Her appointment, however, was not without controversy. The prime minister picked her for the coveted job while ignoring other potential candidates including Pakistan’s current high commissioner to India Abdul Basit and envoy to London Ibne Abbas.
Basit was the most senior officer in the foreign office. After being ignored for the job, Basit reportedly applied for a long leave as given the tradition senior officers would not serve if a junior is appointed as their boss.
According to the foreign office, the new foreign secretary is a seasoned diplomat with a career spanning over 32 years.
She holds Master’s degrees from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and Columbia University, New York. She has rich experience of working in bilateral and multilateral domains both at headquarters and missions abroad.
She also served as spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 2011. Janjua served as ambassador to Pakistan to Italy from December 2011 to October 2015. She was serving as ambassador and permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva since October 2015.
The Director General (SA & SAARC), Dr Mohammad Faisal, summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violation by the Indian occupation forces on March 17 on the LoC in Kotli area (Kotkotterra sector), resulting in the death of a 60-year-old lady.
“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed condemnable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” said an official handout.
The director general urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire understanding; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC.