Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Foreign Office decides to appoint new high commissioner in UK


LONDON: (DNA) –  Pakistan’s Foreign Office has decided to transfer Sahebzada Ahmed Khan, the Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK, to another country after holding an inquiry which found that the high commissioner had broken diplomatic norms at a public event in London.

The High Commissioner returned to London a week ago after appearing before a disciplinary committee at the Foreign Office where he was asked to provide an explanation over his alleged “irresponsible activities” during an award show in London a month ago.

Foreign Office told that it has been decided to transfer the high commissioner from the UK to another country – possibly Cuba – for violating the diplomatic protocol and ethics. The source said that a new high commissioner to the UK will be appointed after consultations. The source said that initially it was decided that Sahebzada Khan will be asked to return to Pakistan “within ten days” but then decision was taken to appoint him in another country.

This correspondent understands that at least three names from the Foreign Office are under consideration for appointment in the UK but Prime Minister Imran Khan could appoint a political person belonging to the PTI.

After a video of the event was posted on social media, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi took notice of the “behavior” of Sahebzada Ahmed Khan after being briefed on the matter. He had demanded the diplomat return to Pakistan to the headquarters and offer an explanation, alongside a written one, for his conduct as part of the inquiry.

Sahebzada Khan stayed in Islamabad for a week and met the inquiry committee and stressed that he didn’t do anything wrong at the awards ceremony and he spoke informally at the show because the organizers requested him to do so and the event was about the celebration of Pakistani fashion therefore he conducted the stage for four minutes in a light fashion.

Qureshi said in a tweet: “I am dismayed by the actions of our High Commissioner to the UK and have asked him to return to Pakistan and provide an explanation for his behaviour at the IPPA awards held in London.”

Pakistan High Commission said it was not aware that Sahebzada Khan has been called back or transferred to another country.

A senor diplomat had told  that Sahebzada Ahmed Khan is victim of a malicious campaign against his position.

The senior diplomat here in London explained that the high commissioner was “the guest of honour at the Pakistani film/TV awards” where the the organizers requested him to present the “Life-time Achievement Award”.

He said that the organisers requested the High Commissioner to “make this segment a bit entertaining, by adding a little sense of humour” and that make it light and not too serious and formal – as was demand of the show.

The diplomat had said that the High Commissioner’s lively demeanour has attracted criticism from some quarters in the media, despite the fact that there was applause and appreciation from the audience.

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