Ali Jahangir Siddiqui seeks Pakistani expats cooperation

Washington

The newly-appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui has sought the cooperation of Pakistani immigrants to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Siddiqui, who took the charge on May 30, has written a letter to the Pakistani immigrants living in the United States and sought their help to improve the relations between US and Pakistan.
“There is a lot of room of improvement in the ties between US and Pakistan,” he said. “I have been entrusted to take on the challenge of fulfilling my responsibilities.”
He further remarked that the members of both the countries will work together to achieve “our common objectives,” adding that he “trusts Pakistani community for the fulfillment of responsibilities.”
Siddiqui has replaced outgoing Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry, the former foreign secretary who served as Pakistan’s envoy to the US before his retirement last month.
The US Department of State took almost two months — otherwise, a routine — to send out an agreement to pave the way for the new ambassador’s appointment.
Siddiqui has to present his credentials to US President Donald Trump in the coming weeks to be fully operational to perform his duties. He has daunting challenges to surmount ahead as well, given the souring US-Pakistan ties.
Siddiqui, an investment banking expert by profession, was appointed by the federal government as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US last month. He has previously served in the capacity of special assistant to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, with the status of a state minister.
On May 11, 2018, the Trump administration imposed travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats stationed at the Embassy in Washington, confining them to a 25-mile radius and making it obligatory for them to seek permission at least five days in advance if they wish to travel beyond the imposed limits. Pakistan, in return, also imposed similar bans. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo told local lawmakers last week that “our State Department officials are being treated badly as well”.
“[Our people] working in the embassies and in the consulates and in other places are not being treated well by the Pakistani government either,” he claimed.—INP

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