Graceful, committed and an inspiration for all – Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, who will retire from her post on April 16, was heaped with praise at a ceremony held in her honour on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi described Janjua as a role model for diplomats and appreciated her services for the country.
"I have always found her graceful, committed and sincere to the cause of Pakistan and Foreign Service," he said.
Qureshi recalled that he had met Janjua in 2008 when he was first appointed the foreign minister and she was serving as the strategic planning director general at the ministry.
“Today I can say that it was a pleasure working with her," he added.
The minister said Janjua had stood by principles throughout her service.
"If I had to describe her in one word… that would be a 'woman of character’," he remarked.
He said the past eight months had been very challenging and during that period, Janjua had worked even on her off days and till late hours which showed her commitment to work.
"In a male-dominated society, the way she carried herself as the foreign secretary it was not an easy job and she is an inspiration for everyone," he noted, adding that her services would be missed after her retirement.
Janjua joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1984 after studying French literature at the Quaid-e-Azam University. She later finished her master’s degree in international affairs from the SIPA, Columbia University in 1989.
She served in Pakistan's missions to New York City and United Nations before remaining the director of Foreign Secretary's Office between 2004 and 2005.
She also served as the strategic planning director general in the Foreign Secretary's Office and in 2011 became the spokesperson for the foreign affairs ministry.
Janjua remained the ambassador of Pakistan to Italy between December 2011 and October 2015. On October 6, 2015, she became Pakistan's envoy to the UN Office in Geneva, and in December 2016, became the first woman, and the first developing country representative, to preside over the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
In February 2017, she was appointed the foreign secretary, the first woman to hold the position in the foreign affairs ministry.
With additional input from APP