In a recent article written by Eliot A Cohen, a contributory editor of ‘The Atlantic’, and director of Strategic Studies at John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies has termed Rex Tillerson as the worst secretary of State. He bases his arguments on Tillerson’s corporate experience as head of biggest oil company Exxon Mobil which handicapped his abilities because of poor “familiarity with the work of diplomacy” and “his failures stem not from stupidity or general incompetence, but from a specific set of disabilities”, acquired from years of being head of biggest corporation with wide powers.

The problem with Pakistan’s rather dismal performance in field of foreign affairs is poor choice of people, some holding dual nationalities, who are appointed as ambassadors. Diplomacy is a specialized field where individuals educated in international and foreign affairs from recognized institutions acquire skills working under experienced diplomats, before they qualify to be posted as ambassador. Unfortunately both civil and military governments made political appointments with sole objective to protect interest of ruling party. Neither corporate experience nor professional competence in military has any relevance and in fact are a handicap.

PM Abbasi used his discretionary power to select Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, a graduate in Economic from Cornell University as our ambassador designate to USA. He maybe a successful business man but that does not qualify him to be an ambassador. In the past, Pakistan was needed by USA for their short term strategic goals in Afghanistan and shortcomings of our diplomats could be overlooked, but with relations at all time low, situation demands that we utilize best of our diplomats to skillfully make inroads and diplomatically mellow an offensive Senate and West Wing in Washington.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, March 16.