Govt can appoint ‘non-career persons’ as ambassadors, says Asif
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif has said the executive had the prerogative to appoint any suitable person to serve as an ambassador to any country and there was no case pending with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the ambassador-designate to Washington.
He made this statement during the Senate session.
Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Senator Samina Saeed, he said there was no constitutional hurdle in the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as ambassador to the United States as 20 percent quota had been reserved for appointing non- career persons as envoys.
He said the ambassador-designate had not yet been indicted in any case and NAB was just conducting an inquiry against him. Such inquiries were being conducted against several politicians and officers. He could not be termed a convict until proved guilty, he said, adding the matter was also sub judice.
He urged the opposition to move an amendment in law making it mandatory that all important appointments, including those of ambassadors, confirmed by the parliament.
He pointed out that American Senate confirmed over 4,000 appointments and that practice could be emulated in Pakistan also.
Responding to point of order regarding private tour of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to the United States, Khawaja Asif said the prime minister had gone to the US on a private visit. The prime minister did not believe in protocol and there was no harm if he was searched at a US airport, he added.
Earlier, speaking on a calling attention notice, Senator Samina Saeed said the country was passing through a difficult phase and needed a senior diplomat as ambassador in the United States. Ali Jahangir Siddiqui was an inexperienced person and he was appointed as ambassador without consulting the stakeholders, she added.