ISLAMABAD: Despite being a political appointee, Pakistan’s new Ambassador to the United States Ali Jehangir Siddiqui has not resigned after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz completed its tenure on May 31, diplomatic sources said, according to reports in local media.
Siddiqui had left for Washington late last month to take over as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and commentators believed he would have to resign even before formally presenting his credentials to President Donald Trump.
His predecessor Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry returned to Pakistan on May 29.
Under the rules, a political appointee has to resign after the government loses power. However, senior officials at the foreign ministry said that Siddiqui was yet to resign.
One official said: “We have received no resignation from him (Siddiqui). Yes, the political appointees do resign after a government relinquishes charge.”
Another official said the caretaker government had asked Siddiqui to continue so there was no need for resignation. “He will resign if the PML-N does not come to power again. For the interim period, he will retain his job,” the official added.
The banker-turned-diplomat has presented his credentials at the US State Department but is awaiting a call from the White House after which he will be able to hold meetings with senior US officials.
Siddiqui’s good friend and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner can be helpful to expedite the process as he works at the White House as Trump’s adviser.
In March, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had controversially appointed Siddiqui as the new ambassador to the US to replace career diplomat Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, who has completed his term. The new ambassador is the son of prominent businessman Jehangir Siddiqui who is the founder of JS Group.
Siddiqui – until recently PM’s Special Assistant with the status of Minister of State – flew to the US after a belated confirmation from Washington. He had disassociated himself from the business when he was appointed as Special Assistant to PM in August 2017.