NEW DELHI: The US State Department has been taking unusually long to process the appointment of Pakistans Ambassador-designate to Washington, Masood Khan and the delay has triggered an impression of a pause in the process, Dawn reported.
Khan, who served as President of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) till last August, was nominated as Ambassador to the US in November. He had previously served as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and New York and as Ambassador to China. Khan was to replace the outgoing Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington Asad Majeed Khan.
The request for agreement for Masood Khan had been sent to the State Department in the second week of November, a Pakistani diplomat said. The agreement is the approval of a designated diplomat by the receiving state.
Normally, the State Department took four to six weeks to issue agreements for Pakistani ambassadors in the past, a former foreign secretary said. “This time they are taking unusually long,” Dawn news quoted another diplomat as saying.
The delay has occurred at a time when ties between the two allies have turned increasingly frosty due to the geopolitical environment.
The US interest in Pakistan has waned after it pulled out of Afghanistan. Moreover, Washington looks at ties with Pakistan from the prism of its strategic competition with China, although Islamabad has repeatedly said that it was not part of any camp politics.
“While I’m encouraged that the State Department has reportedly placed a pause on approving Masood Khan as the new ambassador from Pakistan, a pause is not enough. I urge you to reject any diplomatic credentials presented to you by Masood Khan and reject any effort by the government of Pakistan to install this jihadist as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US,” Scott Perry, a Congressman, wrote to President Joe Biden.
People in the Foreign Office believe that the delay was because of Masood Khan’s last position as the president of PoK.