Govt to appoint interim foreign secretary in reaction to cypher scandal

Jauhar Saleem

Jauhar Saleem new foreign secretary

The position of foreign secretary fell vacant after incumbent Sohail Mehmood retired on Thursday after reaching the age of superannuation.

It was earlier reported that Asad Majid, who wrote the cypher in March as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Washington, would be appointed as the new foreign secretary.

But as the new audio leaks surfaced bringing once again to the spotlight the diplomatic cable, which the former prime minister Imran Khan has cited as evidence of US controversy behind his removal through a vote of no-confidence earlier in the year, has apparently pushed the government to review its decision.

A foreign office source confirmed to The Daily Information Times that a consensus could not be reached on the name of Asad Majid and hence it was decided to give additional charge of foreign secretary to Jauhar Saleem, a grade 22 officer of the foreign service and current special secretary Europe.

“Mr Jauhar Saleem, a BS-22 officer of foreign service of Pakistan, presently posted as special secretary, Europe, is assigned look after charge of the post of secretary, foreign affairs, in addition to his own duties, with immediate effect and until further orders,” read a notification issued by the Establishment Division.

Sources said the government’s move was a stopgap arrangement as Cyrus Qazi, a grade-21 officer of the foreign service and outgoing Ambassador to Turkey, will eventually be appointed as the new foreign secretary.

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