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Court seeks explanation over Ali Jahangir Siddiqui’s appointment as US ambassador

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued notices to the secretary cabinet division, the foreign secretary, and the prime minister’s principal secretary to submit comments on a petition challenging Ali Jahangir Siddiqui’s appointment as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States (US). 

A bench of the high court also put the Attorney General on notice to ensure the filing of comments by the official respondents until the next hearing. The hearing was put off for two weeks.

The petitioner argued that the process of the appointment of Siddiqui, the premier’s special assistant, to such an important post lacked merit.

The federal authorities ignored experienced diplomats and made the appointment on the basis of favoritism, he alleged while pleading that the court should strike down Siddiqui’s appointment as US ambassador.

An identical petition is also pending in the Lahore High Court where  the petitioner has adopted a stance that the appointment has been made without consulting the federal cabinet.

The petition contended that the appointee doesn’t have the prerequisite experience to serve as an ambassador to the US, hence the court should immediately declare Siddiqui’s appointment as null and void.

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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had given the go-ahead to the nomination of Siddiqui for the post. The new envoy holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University, US.

In August 2017, Siddiqui was appointed as a special assistant to the premier with the status of a state minister. He is the son of the famous banker and businessman, Jahangir Siddiqui.

Ali Jahangir has served as a director in Airblue, Lucky Cement, Azgard Nine along with several other companies. In 2014, he was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

He also holds some public sector experience after he served as a member of the Privatisation Commission, a member of the Private Sector Advisory Board of the Planning Commission, a member of the Sindh Board of Investment, and as a member of the Community Development Board of the Government of Sindh.



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