He completes his tenure after accomplishing huge task of boosting country’s soft image and Kashmir issue. Sahibzada Ahmed Khan appointed as new envoy to UK
By M. Sarwar
Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora in the UK will be deprived of presence but will remember forever to one of the best, intelligent, kind and humble top diplomat Syed Ibne Abbas since he is going to leave London in one month time and will ultimately retire from the Foreign Ministry in December this year. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has approved appointment of Sahibzada Ahmed Khan as the new Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK. Sahibzada Khan will replace Syed Ibne Abbas as he has completed his term.
Syed Ibne Abbas who believes in community outreach and did numerous measures during his tenure to boost the soft image of the country in Britain and uplift the moral and projection of the countrymen was to relinquish the charge in October last year but the government asked him to continue until a replacement was finalised.
He will formally retire from the foreign ministry in December this year. He assumed very important task of high commissioner in London at a crucial time when Pakistan’s image was questioned in wake of terrorism, extremism, militancy and suicide attacks in back home and the world was blaming Pakistan for export of terror to other countries especially the neighbouring nations.
Syed Ibne Abbas tried his best and took drastic measures to negate the nefarious propaganda against Pakistan. He continued close contacts with British Parliamentarians and other political leaders especially with government hierarchy and convinced them and showed them the true soft image of Pakistan. He arranged special meetings with them, addressed them and arranged their visit to Pakistan to observe the real situation with their own eyes.
He arranged street shows and buses decorated with Pak culture, heritage and sports that roamed on streets throughout the British capital and appreciated by everyone. He also played a very vital role in highlighting the Kashmir issue in the same marvellous way. Officials at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad said the PM had signed the summary for the appointment of the new High Commissioner in the UK. Sahibzada Ahmed Khan is presently serving as the chief protocol officer at the Foreign Office. He is expected to take charge of the new assignment within a month.
Syed Ibne Abbas was among the top candidates for the coveted post of the Foreign Secretary last year but he and Abdul Basit were delisted in favour of Tehmina Janjua. Basit later sought early retirement after completing his term as Pakistan High Commissioner to India but Syed Ibne Abbas didn’t mind and continue his assignment in the larger interest of the country. He had assumed the charge of the current portfolio on October 4, October, 2014.
Prior to this, he served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad, as the Additional Foreign Secretary Abbas also served as the High Commissioner for Pakistan to New Zealand 2010- 2013. He was the Consul General of Pakistan at Los Angeles, California (US) from 2006- 2010. At the Headquarters in Islamabad, he served as the Director General South Asia and South Asian Association for Pak diaspora to remember Syed Ibne Abbas He completes his tenure after accomplishing huge task of boosting country’s soft image and Kashmir issue. Sahibzada Ahmed Khan appointed as new envoy to UK Regional Co-operation. He also served as the Deputy Secretary Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Abbas also held various diplomatic assignments – New Delhi (2001-2004), Canberra (1998-2001), Geneva (1992- 1994) and Berne (1989-1992) – at the Pakistan Missions abroad. He represented Pakistan and led delegations on several occasions on bilateral and multilateral fora.
He attended the 1997 and 2006 UN General Assembly sessions as a Pakistan delegate. Syed Ibne Abbas represented Pakistan at the Conference on Disarmament and attended meetings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and Organization of Islamic Cooperation.