Pak: former envoy in a letter war

30 August 2017 No Comment

Letter criticising envoy ‘comes at a difficult time’: by Anwar Iqbal in Dawn, August 30th, 2017
WASHINGTON: A scathing letter allegedly written by a former Pakistani envoy to the country’s ambassador in Washington comes at a time when the embassy is busy countering a slew of statements, articles and TV talks targeting the country.

“Discrediting [Paki­stan’s] Ambassador [to the United States] Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry at a time when he is dealing with a very difficult situation is no service to Pakistan,” said a senior diplomatic observer in Washington. “It will definitely not help promote Pakistan’s cause.”

The scathing letter, allegedly written by Pakistan’s former ambassador to India Abdul Basit, is dated July 5, but surfaced online days after a speech by US President Donald Trump in which he blamed Pakistan for harbouring Afghan militants.

In that Aug 21 speech, President Trump also outlined a new South Asia strategy, which seeks to coerce Pakistan into supporting US goals in Afghanistan. It also envisages greater Indian role in Afghanistan, stoking Pakistan’s worst fears of being sandwiched between two hostile borders.

The speech led to dozens of articles and statements in the US media, criticising Pakistan and blaming it for fanning violence in Afghanistan. The developments pushed the Pakistani embassy in Washington to the front row of Islamabad’s efforts to present a better image of the country before the American public.

“The embassy was already finding it difficult to do so in today’s hostile environment and the letter has further complicated the situation,” the observer added. In the letter, Mr Basit lambasted Mr Chaudhry’s tenure as foreign secretary over a number of policy gaffes made during his time in the office.

“The more I think the more I am convinced that you have been the worst foreign secretary ever,” Mr Basit wrote in the letter, a copy of which has been circulating on social media.

Sources in the Foreign Office confirmed to DawnNews that the letter was authentic. Embassy sources in Washington also confirmed that the letter was genuine, although “allegations are baseless”. https://www.dawn.com/news/1354829/letter-criticising-envoy-comes-at-a-difficult-time

Former envoy to India takes on present envoy to US : report in The News, Aug 30, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Abdul Basit, who recently retired as Pakistan High Commissioner to India after serving three years, has written a scathing letter to former foreign secretary and country’s incumbent Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

In the letter, surfaced on social media, Abdul Basit lambasted Aizaz Chaudhry over a number of foreign policy blunders the latter allegedly made during his time in office as foreign secretary. “The more I think the more I am convinced that you have been the worst Foreign Secretary ever,” Abdul Basit wrote in the letter.

Sources privy to the development, while talking to a private TV channel, confirmed the authenticity of the letter. In the letter dated July 5, Abdul Basit has expressed his concerns saying: “My concern is that you would also end up being the worst Pakistan Ambassador in Washington, DC.”

Basit further writes: “I strongly feel that it is in Pakistan’s interest that you should immediately be removed from Washington DC. “If not so, you should not be given extension beyond your superannuation on February 27, 2018. May Allah help Pakistan when people like you with weak and dubious credentials are at such important positions.” Chaudhry was the foreign secretary of Pakistan until February this year before being appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/227052-Former-envoy-to-India-takes-on-present-envoy-to-US

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