ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has said that the appointment of a non-career diplomat as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States at this critical time for the Pak-US relations is a thoughtless and imprudent decision that needs to be reviewed.
In a statement on Wednesday, the PPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar said that Ali Jahangir Siddiqui may be an exceptionally brilliant banker and businessman but it will be fatal to assume that a successful businessman is also a successful diplomat.
Farhatullah Babar said that ambassadorial appointments of this nature must be made only after due deliberations, bearing in mind also the impact on the morale of career diplomats denied legitimate expectations. He said that the appointment will only further demoralize career diplomats and undermine foreign policy structures and is unwise.
The PPP Secretary General said that there may be no official confirmation of the appointment nor whether Ali Jahangir Siddiqui’s name has been sent to Washington for formal approval. However the decision not to give extension to the incumbent ambassador and the silence indicates that there is truth in the reports.
“Our Ambassador in Washington must be a nimble footed career diplomat possessing skills to perform difficult balancing acts in a carefully nuanced manner in a complex relationship beset with absence of trust,” Farhatullah Babar said.
“It is wrong to dismiss it as an ‘administrative matter’ as an official spokesperson has tried to do.”
Farhatullah Babar said that the manner of appointment was whimsical, non-transparent, thoughtless and typical of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) style; ‘medieval governance driven by sublime non-sense at public expense’.
The PPP Secretary General demanded of the government to come out clean and revisit the appointment after holding inter and intra institutional dialogue which should also be duly minuted and recorded.