Former envoy to US Asad Majeed appointed foreign secretary

Position fell vacant in September, after incumbent Sohail Mehmood retired after reaching the age of superannuation

Our Correspondent December 02, 2022
Pakistan's former envoy to the United States Asad Majeed. PHOTO: FILE


Former ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan – one of the central characters in the PTI’s “foreign conspiracy” claim – was appointed as the new foreign secretary on Friday.

The former envoy to the US is presently serving as Pakistan’s ambassador to the European Union (EU). However, the establishment division has now issued a notification for his appointment as foreign secretary.

The position of foreign secretary fell vacant in September after incumbent Sohail Mehmood retired after reaching the age of superannuation.

Jauhar Saleem, a grade 22 officer of the foreign service and current special secretary Europe, was given additional charge of foreign secretary as the government failed to reach a consensus on the name of a new foreign secretary.

It was earlier reported that Majeed, who wrote the cypher in March as Pakistan’s envoy to Washington, would be appointed as the new foreign secretary.

Read Imran, party leaders purportedly discuss cypher in second audio leak

But as new audio leaks surfaced, bringing once again to the spotlight the diplomatic cable, which the former prime minister Imran Khan has cited as evidence of US controversy behind his removal through a vote of no-confidence earlier in the year, the government apparently was forced to review its decision.

The coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced to form an “independent commission” to look into the allegations but Imran has rejected the proposal and sought the formation of a judicial commission on the matter.

The controversy revolves around a diplomatic cable the then-Pakistani ambassador in Washington sent to the Foreign Office on March 7.

The cable was based on Majeed’s conversation with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu. In that cable, according to Imran, the US official threatened Pakistan with dire consequences if the vote of no-confidence against the PTI leader did not succeed.


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