Government formally appoints Jalil Abbas Jillani as US ambassador

Published: November 8, 2013
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Foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani has previously served in Washington from 199501999. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani has previously served in Washington from 199501999. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday formally announced that Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani will take up the diplomatic hot seat in Washington, to become Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.

This will be Jilani’s second assignment in the US, having previously served there during the Clinton administration from 1995 to 1999.

While the decision had been taken in principle last month, it took the government nearly four weeks to make a formal announcement.

Ambassador Jilani joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1979. He was appointed as Foreign Secretary in March 2012.

He is a career diplomat and prior to his current appointment, he has served as Ambassador of Pakistan to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union. He used to interact with the NATO HQ based in Brussels on regular basis.

Ambassador Jilani, born on February 2, 1955, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and M.Sc. in Defence and Strategic Studies.

In his professional life, he has specialised in South Asian affairs and remained Director India (1992-1995), Deputy High Commissioner/Acting High Commissioner to New Delhi (1999-2003) and Director General South Asia and SAARC (2003-2007). In 2005 he also served as the government’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs.

From 1990 to 1992, Ambassador Jilani also served as a deputy secretary in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

His other overseas assignments include: Jeddah (1983-1985), London (1985-1988), Washington (1995-1999) and High Commissioner to Canberra, Australia (2007-2009).

Jilani will join his new assignment in December.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Jibran
    Nov 8, 2013 - 7:12PM

    A Demotion?

    Recommend

  • SAL
    Nov 8, 2013 - 7:24PM

    What is this Indian flag doing behind him in picture instead of Pakistan’s? Will he be representing India in US??

    ET, how much did you get from India for printing this controversial photo? I am MAD at you!!!
    Please rectify your mistake right away.

    Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Nov 8, 2013 - 7:56PM

    Pakistan Ambassador has a tough job – relations were so poor during Sherry Rehman’s term that she had nothing to do and accomplished little. If Pakistan is going to implement an embargo this guy should present his credentials quick as I doubt US would accept any Ambassador during an embargo.

    Recommend

  • hal
    Nov 8, 2013 - 8:04PM

    @SAL:
    Get over it!! For all the literate readers of this column, this picture was taken when the ambassadors from each country are invited to the white house to present their credentials to the president. In this case, Pakistan and Indian ambassadors were invited on the same day, hence the picture.

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  • Noor Nabi
    Nov 8, 2013 - 8:23PM

    @SAL:
    You could have at least tried to make a more constructive comment even while expressing a dissenting opinion. It only reminds me of an adage that says “growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional”. These are dire times which call for everybody to pull together and think like mature individuals; that is the only way to get Pakistan out of a deep and dark hole.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 8, 2013 - 8:38PM

    Nothing more than a typical bureaucrat and his master’s voice. This appointment does not bring anything new to the table. Same old wine just in a new bottle. Pakistan needs dynamic, independent, popular stand up men and women for such an important job. The basic qualifications should be education in political sciences, International Relations, International laws, mediation, conflict resolution and last but not the least good understanding of foreign cultures and values. I have no relationship with him but a man like Adil Najam who has most of these qualifications and understanding of western values would have been a much better choice. However, a rightwing govt of PML cannot take a chance on an independent thinker and highly qualified man.

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 8, 2013 - 9:36PM

    Congratulations to Mr. Jalil Abbass Jilani on his appointment as Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States of America.

    I hope that during his tenure, bilateral relations between Pakistan and USA will grow for the common benefit of the two countries.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Nov 8, 2013 - 10:20PM

    @Noor Nabi: Good one, this,”growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional”! You might wish to add ‘growing up’ is impossible for some i.e. some are just not capable to grow up. Like the ‘HakimUllahMehsud’s-mourning-lover-Khan’.

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  • ali ahmed
    Nov 8, 2013 - 10:40PM

    @SAL..there is also Pakistani flag..

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  • aaaaa
    Nov 8, 2013 - 11:47PM

    @Mirza:

    “Pakistan needs dynamic, independent, popular stand up men and women for such an important job. “

    Didnt Adil Najam fire Pervez Hoodbhoy for less than credible reasons? Showed his true colours then. Jillani is a career diplomat whose rather impressive CV is in the article, if you care to read. He is not a political appointment like Sherry Rehman, whose reason for appointment to such an important post remain beyond comprehension.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 9, 2013 - 12:44AM

    @aaaaa:
    I gave one name as an example saying I have no relationship with that person. Of course there are many people who know the US better than a career govt servant of Pakistan. I never deny the new man’s credentials “BA in Pakistani law and masters in defense related studies”, hardly a heavy weight in political sciences, International relations, mediation conflict reosolution etc. Is Pakistan devoid of heavy weights in these subjects, I don’t think so. This man suits defense related positions without any problem. One cannot put a square peg in a round hole!
    Regards,
    M

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Nov 9, 2013 - 12:46AM

    On the second thought Mr. Gilani is a heavy weight compared to the several generals who were appointed at this post over the years. Recommend

  • Majid
    Nov 9, 2013 - 3:46AM

    I am amazed to see nobody from above commentators observed Pakistani flag in the background but only Indian flag.
    @On the Topic: Mr. Jalil Abbas Jillani looks to be a nice choice. Best wishes for him!

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  • SAL
    Nov 9, 2013 - 11:10AM

    @hal:
    So, the Indian ambassador posed in front of Pakistani flag? BTW he has not presented his credentials yet.

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