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Pakistan decides to change envoy to US; Rizwan Saeed to replace Masood Khan

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Additional Foreign Secretary (Middle East and SIFC) Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh. — Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah website/ File
Additional Foreign Secretary (Middle East and SIFC) Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh. — Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah website/ File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to replace Masood Khan and appoint Additional Foreign Secretary (Middle East and SIFC) Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh as envoy to the United States, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said on Friday.

Masood Khan has been serving as ambassador to Washington since February 2022. He was nominated for the post by the then prime minister Imran Khan in November 2021.

In another major diplomatic appointment, the government has decided to appoint senior diplomat Asim Iftikhar, who’s serving as Pakistan’s ambassador in France, as its additional permanent representative to the UN, the spokesperson said.

She said Iftikhar will, at a suitable time, assume the office of the permanent representative, which is currently held by Munir Akram. Akram assumed this position on November 1, 2019.

The spokesperson said the appointments were being cogitated for several weeks and the announcement regarding the appointments was a normal procedure.

Zahra Baloch, while commenting on the US House of Representative’s resolution, regretted the development, saying Pakistan had resolved to relations based on mutual respect and non-interference with the US.

The US Congress should work for strengthening Pakistan-US relationships, she said adding that Pakistan had apprised America about its serious reservations over the resolution.

“The resolution by the US House of Representatives is an unwarranted interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs,” she said. 

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