TOP offices change hands frequently but some personalities add to the prestige and honour of posts they hold and Sardar Masood Khan, who recently relinquished charge as President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir is one of such rare figures.
It is because of this that his services are being acknowledged and eulogized equally by politicians, scholars, intellectuals, diplomats, media-persons and opinion-makers representing different walks of life.
A majority of holders of public offices and senior officials become controversial because of their partisan conduct, political affiliation, vested interests and misuse of the authority and power but the way Sardar Masood Khan conducted himself as President of the liberated territory makes him a singular distinction.
Ever-since he took oath as the 27th President of AJK, Sardar Masood wasted no opportunity to project the cause of Kashmiri people through different forums and made an impact on the international public opinion.
No doubt, all Kashmiri leaders are vocal as far as highlighting the cause of freedom struggle is concerned but Masood was the most authentic and persuasive voice by virtue of his vast and varied experience as a successful diplomat.
The fact that Masood served as spokesperson of the Foreign Office, Pakistan’s Ambassador to various countries, especially China, and represented the country as Permanent Representative at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva afforded him an opportunity to have a deep insight on all important foreign policy issues of Pakistan and develop contacts with those who matter in different capitals, therefore, he put across his point of view on Kashmir dispute in a skilful manner.
His speeches were full of logic and reason and backed by facts and figures and that is why they made deep imprints on the minds of his audience.
Apart from making remarkable contribution to the cause of Kashmir, Masood also worked hard to help resolve problems of AJK people and has been an ardent supporter of the cause of knowledge and education.
As he himself was a product of merit, Sardar Masood tried his level best to promote the culture of merit, fair-play and transparency.
It has rightly been pointed out that Sardar Masood was an institution and a complete university in his own right.
He also made immense contribution to other foreign policy interests of Pakistan including expansion and deepening of the all-encompassing relationship with China which has now evolved into a strategic partnership.
Sardar Masood is no longer President of AJK but he is, indeed, a national asset and we hope his services would continue to be utilized in the best possible manner.