Foreign Secretary of Pakistan

Foreign Secretary of Pakistan

The Foreign Secretary of Pakistan is the bureaucratic head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Secretary, as in all other ministries of Government of Pakistan, works under the Minister who is the member of National Assembly. The Foreign Secretary is usually a seasoned diplomat, who is a Grade 22 officer of the Central Superior Services of Pakistan.

Due to the unstable political history of Pakistan, the bureaucrats were usually the policymakers of the country. Similarly, foreign policy of Pakistan was mostly thought up by the then military/political rulers and implemented by the ministry of foreign affairs under chairmanship of the Secretary. Such was the case in the United States opening of relations with China, in which Pakistan acted an important role. It was the then Foreign Secretary Sultan M. Khan who was to arrange the secret visit of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to China via Pakistan. This visit paved the way to opening of Sino-U.S. relations under President Richard Nixon. [M.M. Ali, [ "Former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sultan Mohammed Khan’s Colorful Life Parallels His Country’s History"] "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs", March 1999]

Some of other foreign secretaries, like Aziz Ahmed, Agha Shahi, Abdul Sattar, later rose to be Foreign Minister of Pakistan.

The current Foreign Secretary is Salman Bashir who was nominated by the ruling coalition in April 2008 after the previous Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan was sacked when he differentiated with PPP's stance of forming UN tribunal to investigate the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. [A.G. Noorani [

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