For the first time in the history of Pakistan, two positions of Spokesperson have been created
Islamabad: The problem of appointments to important posts in the State Department has become serious. Most of the officers are looking for foreign jobs instead of posting in Islamabad.
On the one hand, the Ministry is facing a shortage of personnel, and on the other hand, merit-based appointment to higher positions has also become a problem.
The official appointment of the Secretary of State to the post of Secretary of State was delayed for more than a month. After the retirement of former Foreign Minister Suhail Mahmood, no new foreign minister has been appointed and the most important post of foreign minister is filled on an ad hoc basis.
There was supposed to be a meeting between Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the Prime Minister to appoint a new foreign minister, which has not yet taken place. Senior officer Gohar Salim has been assigned the task of acting foreign minister for more than a month.
The appointment of Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey, Cyrus Sajjad Qazi, as foreign minister is being considered. He is currently ranked second in seniority. In his place, Junaid Yusuf was appointed as the new ambassador to Turkey.
Asad Majeed Khan, the top State Department official, completed his three-year term in the US on Jan. 11, 2022, but remained in Washington until March 24, awaiting the arrival of Pakistan’s ambassador-designate Sardar Masood Khan, who now serves as Pakistan’s ambassador to Brussels. But because of his name in the crypto scandal, the Secretary of State dropped out of the race.
The third senior officer is Moin-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s ambassador to China, who is qualified to serve as foreign minister. Now the prime minister is going to appoint the foreign minister from among those officers.
The most important problem facing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the appointment of the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After his appointment as spokesperson, the officer’s priority is the immediate appointment as ambassador of an important country. After that, none of the State Department spokespeople have completed their traditional term and are waiting to be sent abroad.
Spokespersons were appointed to various periods in the State Department who stayed from three to three months. This is not the case anywhere in the world. Masood Khan, Mohammad Sadiq, Jalil Abbas Gilani, Tahmina Janjua, Muzam Khan, Mohammad Naeem, Tasleem Aslam, Azaz Ahmed Chowdhury, Nafees Zakaria, Dr. Muhammad Faisal, Zahid Hafeez, Ayesha Farooqui, Asim Iftikhar were the spokespersons for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then in different countries.
Officers such as Masood Khan, Tasleem Aslam, Nafis Zakaria, and Dr. Faisal have rendered invaluable services to Pakistan’s foreign policy, interacting with the media, and effectively shedding light on the Pakistani narrative.
For the first time in Pakistan’s history, two positions of Spokesperson were created, with Mumtaz Zahra Baloch appointed as the new Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While Miss Saima Syed has been appointed as Deputy Spokesperson for the Foreign Office, Mumtaz Baloch was previously appointed as Additional Minister for External Affairs for Asia Pacific.
Mumtaz Baloch is also Pakistan’s ambassador to South Korea. Senior State Department officials and professionals have always maintained the tradition of introducing new spokespersons to the media. A non-publishable briefing is being arranged. And the media is told what they prefer. Nafees Zakaria, Dr. Faisal and Taslim Aslam have preserved this tradition. But this tradition has now been canceled.
Asim Iftikhar, the former spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assumed responsibility for the ambassador to France, and this important position remained vacant for several days, and the appointment of a new spokesperson was also postponed.
Before leaving, he didn’t even introduce the new spokesperson to the media, and no interaction was organized. Because of this, the official spokesperson, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, was unable to answer many questions in his first press briefing. The first press conference yesterday was also a victim of mismanagement. And in this forum too, Pakistan had to face a setback.