Ashraf Qazi leaves without farewell
WASHINGTON: Ashraf Jehangir Qazi who handed over the charge of his post in Washington to his deputy Friday and flew to New York the same evening is expected to depart for Amman, Jordan on Sunday.
He will stay in Amman till he makes his first visit to Baghdad for a major conference next week. Mr Qazi is to head the UN office in Baghdad but because of the security situation in the country is likely to spend much time in the more salubrious environment of Amman.
Mr Qazi who was ambassador to Washington for less than two years left town quietly. The embassy press counsellor was not informed of his departure considering that the officer told a journalist who phoned Friday afternoon about the ambassador’s plans that he was yet to hand over charge.
This may also have been on account of the rather unusual practice followed during Mr Qazi’s tenure whereby his deputy, a foreign service officer by the name of Mohammad Sadiq, preferred to deal with the press personally, taking upon himself, among other things, the press counsellor’s normal duty of issuing all important press releases.
The Daily Times was not on his roster. Mr Qazi, who is unlikely to be missed by the Pakistani-American community because of the distance he tended to maintain from its non-elite members, also became the first Pakistani ambassador in living memory who left his post without saying goodbye to the community through in an informal farewell over a cup of tea at the embassy.
None of the Pakistani correspondents or stringers were informed of the ambassador’s departure. Travelling much of the time, including trips to Pakistan, the West coast and the Carribbean country to which he was also accredited, he made his first contact with the Pakistani-American community about six months after his arrival. khalid hasan