Former diplomat Masood Khan elected AJK President

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PPP Chaudhry Latif Akbar gets six votes; Muslim Conference, PTI boycott polls

Ali Raza

Muzaffarabad—The Azad Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly elected on Tuesday Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Muhammad Masood Khan as new AJK president. A former diplomat, Masood contested the election against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Chaudhry Latif Akbar, who is a former finance minister and party’s general secretary in AJK.
Masood bagged 42 votes in contrast with Akbar’s six votes. Masood, who is currently serving as DG Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, will be replacing Sardar Yaqoob as 23rd president of the region. Sardar Yaqoob retires on August 25 after completing his five-year constitutional term. Meanwhile, the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party boycotted the presidential polls.
Earlier on Thursday, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Election Commission had accepted the nomination papers of PML-N and PPP nominees for the slot of president. Masood retired as a career diplomat in 2005. He has served on key positions as Foreign Office’s spokesperson, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, DG UN desk at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DG Disarmament desk at MOFA and several other positions. He hails from the AJK’s Rawlakot area and belongs to Sudhanzai tribe.
Addressing a news conference along with AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, he said a comprehensive policy would be formulated for highlighting Kashmir cause in its true perspective at International fora.
He expressed serious concern over the Indian brutalities on innocent people in Occupied Kashmir and expressed hope they will soon see dawn of freedom.
The newly elected president lauded Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for taking keen interest in the resolution of Kashmir issue and economic prosperity of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan said Kashmiris are making supreme sacrifices for the great cause of liberation and accession of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan.
Profile of Masood Khan
Born in Rawalakot tehsil of Poonch district of AJK, Masood Khan joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1980 and went on to serve in various diplomatic positions.
From August 2003 to March 2005, he served as the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Pakistan’s Ambassador to China between September 2008 and September 2012 and as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nationsbetween October 11, 2012 and February 07, 2015.
He served as the Director General of Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad between February 2015 and August 4, 2016.[4]
His foreign assignments include: Third Secretary in Beijing(1984–1986), Second Secretary and First Secretary at The Hague (1986–1989) and Counselor at United Nations New York(1993–1997) and Political Counselor in Washington, D.C. (1997–2002).
His assignments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs include: Section Officer for Europe, Iran and South Asian countries (1980–1982), director for Economic Cooperation Organization, Overseas Pakistanis and International Conferences (1990–1991), Director for Secretary General’s office (1991–1992), Director-General for East Asia and Pacific (2002–2003), director-general for United Nations, Disarmament, and Organisation of the Islamic Conference (2003–2004) and Spokesman for Pakistan Foreign Office (2003–2005).
Ambassadorial career: Masood Khan was appointed as Pakistan’s permanent representative to United Nations Office at Geneva in February 2005.[5] During this time, he stayed as chairman for many forums including International Organization for Migration Council,Group of 77 and China at Geneva, Government Group of International Labour Organization (ILO), Conference on Disarmament and Organisation of the Islamic Conference at Geneva.
In September 2008, Masood Khan was appointed as Pakistan’s Ambassador to People’s Republic of China replacing. Salman Bashir who proceeded as Foreign Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In October 2012, he was appointed as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York. He was later retired from the long diplomatic services on maturity of age.

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