WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui has taken up his position amid strained ties between Islamabad and Washington.
He replaced Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, who relinquished his charge on Tuesday after serving as Pakistani envoy in the US for more than a year.
Mr Siddiqui reached Washington on Monday night and was greeted at the airport by deputy chief of Pakistan Mission to the US Rizwan Sheikh.
On March 08, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appointed him as Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington.
His appointment triggered strong criticism from opposition parties, mainly PTI. A petition challenging his appointment was also filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which is pending disposal.
Mr Siddiqui is also facing a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 40 billion to the national exchequer through embezzlement.
A day earlier, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner and caretaker Prime Minister, demanding that Ali Jahangir Siddiqui’s appointment should be declared void and of no legal effect.
He alleged that Siddiqui’s appointment was made on basis of his close ties with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
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, he has also served as member of the Privatisation Commission, the Private Sector Advisory Board of the Planning Commission, the Sindh Board of Investment, and as member of the Community Development Board of the Government of Sindh.