WASHINGTON: Ambas­sador Masood Khan, Islam­abad’s representative in Wa­­shington, meets US Presi­dent Joe Biden on Monday evening, an appointment that will formalise his position as Pakistan’s envoy to the United States.

Ambassador Khan was sent to Washington on March 25, when the PTI government was still in power, but after Imran Khan’s ouster on April 11, there was speculation that the change in Islamabad would also impact diplomatic appointments.

But Pakistan’s envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram, later explained that incumbent ambassadors continue to represent the country in foreign capitals unless specifically asked by the new government to return home. Neither Ambassador Khan nor Ambassador Akram were asked to do so.

On his arrival, Ambassador Khan received a letter from the chief of protocol at the US State Department, endorsing his appointment as Pakistan’s ‘working ambassador’ in Washington.

Later, on April 19, he also received a letter from the US president’s office, formally confirming his appointment.

On Monday, he is expected to visit the White House for an official photo with the US president, which will be the final endorsement of his ambassadorship.

Usually, a new ambassador is invited to the White House, along with other new envoys, to present his or her credentials. This ceremony confirms an ambassador’s appointment.

But like so many other things, the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected this tradition. Since President Biden’s age, 79, makes him particularly vulnerable to the virus, the White House tries to minimise the president’s contact with others.

Diplomatic sources in Washington told Dawn that Covid-19 has also hit the credentials ceremony.

Now, the White House processes all the documents and issues the necessary letters first and then invites an ambassador for the photo session.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Beyond the pale
Updated 09 Aug, 2022

Beyond the pale

When such ugliness is unleashed, everyone at some point suffers the fallout.
Burying Gaza
09 Aug, 2022

Burying Gaza

IT is a sad commentary on the politics of the Middle East that even its most tragic human stories get defaced and...
Celebrate the athlete
09 Aug, 2022

Celebrate the athlete

TALK about delivering on your promise: javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem did that in the grandest style at the...
An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...