ISLAMABAD  - Despite being a political appointee, Pakistan’s new Ambassador to the United States Ali Jehangir Siddiqui has not resigned after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz completed its tenure on May 31, diplomatic sources said.

Siddiqui had left for Washington late last month to take over as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and commentators believed he would have to resign even before formally presenting his credentials to President Donald Trump.

His predecessor Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry returned to Pakistan on May 29. Under the rules, a political appointee has to resign after the government loses power. 

Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Siddiqui was yet to resign and was continuing his new job. 

One official said: “We have received no resignation from him (Siddiqui). Yes, the political appointees do resign after a government relinquishes charge.”

Another official said the caretaker government had asked Siddiqui to continue so there was no need for resignation. “He will resign if the PML-N does not come to power again. For the interim period, he will retain his job,” the official added.

The banker-turned-diplomat has presented his credentials at the US State Department but is awaiting a call from the White House after which he will be able to hold meetings with senior US officials.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a good friend of Siddiqui, can be helpful to expedite the process as he works at the White House as Trump’s adviser.

In March, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had controversially appointed Siddiqui as the new ambassador to the US to replace career diplomat Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, who has completed his term. The new ambassador is the son of prominent businessman Jehangir Siddiqui who is the founder of JS Group.

Siddiqui – until recently PM's Special Assistant with the status of Minister of State – flew to the US after a belated confirmation from Washington. He had disassociated himself from the business when he was appointed as Special Assistant to PM in August 2017.

This week, Siddiqui sought the cooperation of Pakistani immigrants to strengthen ties between Pakistan and the US.

Siddiqui wrote a letter to the Pakistani immigrants living in the US and sought their help to improve the relations between US and Pakistan. “There is a lot of room of improvement in the ties between US and Pakistan,” he said. “I have been entrusted to take on the challenge of fulfilling my responsibilities.”

He remarked that the members of both the countries will work together to achieve “our common objectives,” adding that he “trusts Pakistani community for the fulfillment of responsibilities.”

Pak-US ties have been frosty for several months. In January, the US suspended security assistance to Pakistan targeting the Coalition Support Fund. State Department said the US was suspending ‘security assistance only’ to Pakistan. Washington said Pakistan will be able to receive the suspended funding if it took ‘decisive actions’ against the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban.

 

 

 

 

SHAFQAT ALI