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ISLAMABAD: Three more retired generals have been made ambassadors taking the number of former military officers serving post-retirement ambassadorial assignments to the highest level in the recent past.
The generals to have been rewarded with plum postings after decades of ‘arduous military service’ includes Lt Gen (retd) Ahsan Azhar Hayat, Ambassador-designate to Jordan; Major Gen (retd) Qasim Qureshi, High Commissioner-designate to Sri Lanka; and Major Gen (retd) Ulfat Hussain Shah, High Commissioner-designate to Mauritius.
With the addition of these officers, there are now at least six capitals where Pakistan has ex-servicemen as its envoys. Other three countries are Ukraine, Nigeria and Brunei Darussalam.
The generals are posted as ambassadors out of the 20 percent quota for political appointees. Almost 40 percent of the quota for political appointees now stand occupied by the ex-army men.
The latest appointments come amidst a raging controversy at the Foreign Office about induction of regular army officers in the Foreign Service. Some officers are readying to approach courts to end it.
Political ambassadorial assignments are disputed at the Foreign Office with career diplomats in private expressing their resentment over non-career envoys being assigned important capitals.