Undiplomatic Letter

Aug 30, 2017
Abdul Basit, former Pakistani High Commissioner to India is making headlines – mostly due to Indian media houses – with his scathing, and uncalled-for criticism of recently appointed Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in a letter addressed to him.
The thoroughly unprofessional letter, dated July 5, lambasts Mr Aizaz Chaudhry’s stint as Foreign Secretary, calling him the “worst Foreign Secretary ever”.
He goes on state that, “May Allah help Pakistan when people like you with weak and dubious credentials are at such important positions.
Everything from the language of the letter, to the lack of any substantial argument as to why he has such a low opinion of Mr Aizaz Chaudhry – apart from listing two foreign policy situations – screams of an inherent bias and dubious motives.
There are reliable reports that pinpoint the elevation of Tehmina Janjua to the post of Foreign Secretary as the main reason for Mr Basit’s resignation; clearly the former High Commissioner is holding a grudge.
However, completely going off the rails and accusing other diplomats of not doing their jobs well is completely out of line, and reflects that Mr Basit is a poor sport, without the ability to handle defeat with grace or tact.
From all independent accounts and based on his time in the foreign service, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry is a capable diplomat with a career spanning over 36 years.
A man that fought cancer and returned to the service cannot be accused of not “having his heart in the right place.
” The lack of sensitivity from the former High Commissioner is shocking to say the least.
Solely pinning the blame of the Ufa speech on the Foreign Secretary and Pakistan’s failure to win a seat in the UN HRC in 2015 is unfair.
Mr Basit’s inability to keep his emotions in check, and attacking another diplomat in this fashion tells us that in reality, he might be the one who lacks the panache needed for the important post of Foreign Secretary, and the government’s choice stands vindicated even further.
Pakistan’s relationships with foreign states are currently at crucial stages, with the developing threat from the US and attempts to shore upon regional alliances by the government.
The source of the leak has not been confirmed, but given that this letter was written only a little over a month ago, Mr Basit’s poor timing, alongside his disgraceful attacks against the Ambassador indicate that he is the one “not made for the delicate profession of diplomacy.
Nation, August 30, 2017

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