US delays approval of ambassador designate Masood Khan

ISLAMABAD    -  United States has delayed the approval of Pakistan’s ambassador-designate Masood Khan’s posting in Washington, credible diplomatic sources disclosed to The Nation yesterday.

They said that the US State Department has sought more time for accepting Masood Khan as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington and conveyed it to the Foreign Office in Islamabad.

"The State Department has not rejected ambassador-designate Masood Khan’s nomination, however, it has sought more time for his clearance," a source told The Nation.

Meanwhile, as a result of this delay the Foreign Office has directed Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Dr Asad Majeed Khan. Dr Asad Majeed Khan was appointed as Pakistan Ambassador to Washington on 11th January for a three-year term, which expired on 11th January 2022.

The nomination of Masood Khan was sent to Washington by Foreign Office in November last and under normal diplomatic procedure it was supposed to be approved in eight-week time, however, the State Department has sought some more time for his clearance.  Ambassador-designate Masood Khan who had earlier started his farewell meetings in December has stopped his meetings due to the delay in his approval by the State Department.  Sources close to Masood Khan indicated that he has completed his homework to take up his ambassadorial position in Washington at a very challenging time for the Pak-US relations.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has approved the nomination of new US ambassador-designate to Pakistan Donald Armin Blome.Donald’s appointment was announced on October 25, 2021 by the State Department. Ambassador Donald is also expected to move to Islamabad from Washington in February after his approval from Congressional committees.

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