WASHINGTON: Ali Jahangir Siddiqui took charge as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States on Wednesday.
He arrived in Washington, DC on Monday and has replaced outgoing Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry, the former foreign secretary who served as Pakistan’s envoy to the US before his retirement last month.
He was welcomed at the airport by Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, the deputy chief of Pakistan Mission to the US.
Siddiqui has taken charge of the office just a few days ahead of the completion of the current Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s term.
Siddiqui has to present his credentials to US President Donald Trump in the coming weeks to be fully operational to perform his duties.
Siddiqui, who is facing a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry for allegedly causing a loss of Rs40 billion to the national exchequer through embezzlement, left for Washington on Saturday night.
The appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, prime minister’s special assistant, to such an important position drew strong criticism from some opposition parties as well as career diplomats. A petition challenging his appointment is also pending in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Siddiqui, who holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University, US, is the son of the famous banker and businessman Jahangir Siddiqui. He has served as director of Airblue airlines, Lucky Cement, Azgard Nine along with several other companies.
In 2014, he was honoured as a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum.
Besides that, he has also served as a member of the Privatisation Commission, the Private Sector Advisory Board of the Planning Commission, the Sindh Board of Investment, and a member of the Community Development Board of the Government of Sindh.