ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will shortly name new foreign minister as four names are already under consideration for this important position, said political and diplomatic sources here on Saturday.
“In an informal meeting at Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani will consider names of four Members National Assembly for the position of the foreign minister because the foreign ministers of the United States and India may not be ready to sit with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar for strategic dialogue with Pakistan later this year,” the political sources said.
According to the sources, those to be considered for the office of the foreign minister include Federal Minister for Textile Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Federal Minister for Education Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali, Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and former federal minister for information & broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira.
“If Makhdoom Shahabuddin succeeds Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi as foreign minister, it will be replacement of one Makhdoom from southern Punjab with another one with only difference that he would belong to Rahimyar Khan instead of Multan,” commented the sources.
The diplomatic sources said the appointment of new foreign minister at the earliest is also necessary because Pakistani foreign secretary and his Indian counterpart in their meeting Thimpu (Nepal) have agreed on a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in New Delhi in the mid of current year. Besides the foreign ministers of some other countries, the Afghan foreign minister is also planning to visit Pakistan in the next few weeks, they pointed out.
“New Delhi has hinted that Indian Minister for External Affairs SM Krishna may not be ready to sit across the table with Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar in the proposed meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries later this year,” a diplomatic source said.
Similarly, the diplomatic source said, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who recently refused to meet former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Munich, would avoid strategic dialogue with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar considering it against the protocol.
Sir Zafarullah Khan was the first foreign minister of Pakistan, who held office from December 27, 1947 to October 24, 1954. The United Nations had adopted historic resolutions on Kashmir during his tenure as foreign minister but the resolutions have yet not been implemented by India despite passage of 64 years.
Pakistan’s foreign ministers since independence in 1947
- Sir Zafarullah Khan — December 27, 1947 to October 24, 1954
- Muhammad Ali Bogra — October 24, 1954 to August 11, 1955
- Hamidul Huq Chaudhry — September 28, 1955 to September 12, 1956
- Feroz Khan Noon — September 14, 1956 to October 7, 1958
- Manzur Qadir — October 29, 1958 to June 8, 1962
- Muhammad Ali Bogra — June 13, 1962 to January 23, 1963
- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — January 24, 1963 to June 31, 1966
- Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada — July 20, 1966 to April 25, 1968
- Mian Arshad Hussain — April 25, 1968 to April 4, 1969
- Yahya Khan — April 5, 1969 to December 20, 1971
- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — December 20, 1971 to March 28, 1977
- Aziz Ahmed — March 30, 1977 to July 5, 1977
- Agha Shahi — January 14, 1978 to March 9, 1982
- Sahibzada Yaqub Khan — March 21, 1982 to November 1, 1987 & June 9, 1988 to March 20, 1991
- Abdul Sattar — caretaker from July 23, 1993 to October 19, 1993
- Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari — October 19, 1993 to November 14, 1993
- Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali — November 16, 1993 to November 4, 1996
- Sahibzada Yaqub Khan — caretaker from November 11, 1996 to February 24, 1997
- Gohar Ayub Khan — February 25, 1997 to August 7, 1998
- Sartaj Aziz — August 7, 1998 to October 12, 1999
- Abdul Sattar — November 6, 1999 to June 14, 2002
- Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri — November 23, 2002 to November 15, 2007
- Inam-ul-Haq — caretaker from November 15, 2007 to March 24, 2008
- Shah Mahmood Qureshi — March 31, 2008 to February 9, 2011