Pakistan’s new ambassador to US has work cut out for him

Islamabad: Ali Jahangir Siddiqui took charge as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States on Tuesday just two days before the end of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) government’s term.

The young business tycoon and designated ambassador will present his credentials with hopes of being received by President Donald Trump, or the US Secretary of State, within a few days or weeks’ time.

The ambassador-designate took charge despite objections from the opposition over his family’s business and political links.

Siddiqui had been serving as a special assistant to the outgoing Prime Minister of Pakistan with the status of minister of state.

On 8 March 2018, he was appointed by the Pm as ambassador to the United States of America.

Siddiqui has served as the chief investment officer and managing partner at JS Private Equity and JS Private Equity Fund, besides his experience with dozens of companies owned by his father, Jahangir Siddiqui Senior.

Media reports have repeatedly claimed links between PML-N government leaders and Jahangir’s family.

Besides his family links with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Ali Jahangir Siddiqui is seen by the PML-N leaders as a dynamic long-term economic policymaker who can best safeguard Pakistan’s best interests.

Several opposition leaders including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Fawad Hussain Choudhary and Pakistan Awami Party’s Sheikh Rashid have strongly criticised the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui.

Some foreign policy experts have expressed their reservations, saying instead the post should have gone to a polished diplomat from the Foreign Office.

Siddiqui, who arrived in Washington, DC on Monday night for his swearing-in, replaced outgoing Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry, the former foreign secretary who served as Pakistan’s envoy to the US before his retirement last month.

Soon after assuming charge, Siddiqui held a meeting with staff at Pakistan’s embassy in Washington.

Siddiqui holds a BA in economics from Cornell University in New York and was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2014.

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