ISLAMABAD -  Tehmina Janjua will take over as the first woman foreign secretary next week as Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry spent his last day in the office on Friday.

Officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation, that Chaudhry had quit his charge and would straightaway leave for Washington to assume his new responsibility as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

“Tehmina Janjua is in Geneva and is expected [in Pakistan] within a couple of days. She may take charge on Monday or Tuesday to lead the foreign ministry,” a senior official said.

Last month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had appointed Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry as new ambassador to the US.

Ambassador Chaudhry is a career foreign service officer with over 36 years of bilateral and multilateral experience in the field of diplomacy. He served as foreign secretary of Pakistan for more than three years from December 2013.

Chaudhry had also served as the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry.

Senior diplomat Tehmina Janjua - serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva - had been appointed as Chaudhry’s replacement.

Janjua was always the front runner for the Foreign Ministry’s slot despite the fact that High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Syed Ibne Abbas were also seriously considered for the job.

Pakistan’s ambassador in China Masood Khalid and former ambassador to France Ghalib Iqbal too were among the candidates.

There were rumours that Abdul Basit had resigned for being ignored for the foreign secretary’s slot but he is expected to get a senior slot in the foreign ministry when he arrives from New Delhi in the coming days. “There have been no resignations so far. There will of course be some reshuffle to fill vacant posts,” said a foreign ministry official.

Janjua is known as a qualified diplomat – with a career spanning 32 years - and has held several important positions in the past. She holds Master’s degrees from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and Columbia University, New York.

Janjua has rich experience of working in bilateral and multilateral domains both at the headquarters and missions abroad. She also served as spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Janjua joined Foreign Service in 1984.  From 1986-1987 she was the desk officer, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Foreign Office.

In 1989, Janjua was appointed acting director of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

From 1990-1995, she remained second secretary and later first secretary, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations.

Janjua remained director Foreign Secretary’s Office from 1995-1996.

From 1996-2000, she was the counsellor Pakistan Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva.

In 2000, Janjua became director Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Office.

From 2004-2005, she was appointed director Foreign Secretary’s Office.

Afterwards, from 2005-2009, Janjua became the deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.

From 2009-2011, she served as director-general (Strategic Planning) in the Foreign Secretary’s Office.

In 2011, she was appointed spokesperson Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad and director-general (Strategic Planning) Foreign Secretary’s Office.  From December 2011 to October 2015, she remained ambassador of Pakistan to Italy.

On October 6, 2015, she was posted as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.



Shafqat Ali