ISLAMABAD: The government issued on Thursday a notification for appointment of Aizaz Chaudhry as foreign secretary, ending weeks of speculations and uncertainty about the next head of the Foreign Service.
Another notification issued earlier announced his promotion to BS-22 by the Central Selection Board (CSB).
Mr Chaudhry was picked to succeed Mr Jalil Abbas Jillani earlier this month. However, the notification of his appointment was held back until results of the CSB about his promotion to next pay scale were notified. A controversy preceded his posting. The government had initially chosen another Foreign Service officer Abdul Basit, currently ambassador to Germany, but had to reverse its decision.
Mr Chaudhry is a career diplomat. He joined the Foreign Service in 1980.
He is described by his colleagues and friends as a ‘smooth operator’ and ‘easy going person’.
Prior to his elevation as foreign secretary, Mr Chaudhry was serving as additional secretary of the UN division with the additional responsibility of foreign ministry’s spokesman. He earlier held diplomatic positions in Cairo, Doha, Tehran, Washington and New York.
Mr Chaudhry remained involved with peace process with India as director general of the South Asia desk at the FO.
He has also authored ‘Pakistan mirrored to Dutch eyes’ which describes his impressions about Netherlands, where he served as ambassador and details his public diplomacy ventures.
“He (Aizaz Chaudhry) is truly a connected diplomat, not a bystander but a key player in international relations,” Dutch Ambassador to France Ed Kronenburg wrote in the Foreword for Mr Chaudhry’s book. He got his Master’s degree in International Relations from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Medford, Massachusetts. He also holds Masters degree in Political Science from the Punjab University.