ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani career diplomat, Asim Iftikhar Ahmad currently serving as Additional Secretary, Asia Pacific has now been appointed as Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad.
Asim was a member of the Pakistan delegation to the Security Council in 2003-2004 and again in 2012-2013 when he also served as the Political Coordinator of the Pakistan Team.
He represented Pakistan in the Mission of the Security Council to West Africa (June-July 2003), Mission of the Security Council Sanctions Committee concerning Somalia (November 2003), Extraordinary Meeting of the Security Council held in Nairobi, Kenya on Sudan and Somalia (November 2004), and the Security Council Mission to the Great Lakes Region in October 2013.
He has been a member of the Pakistan delegation to the UN Peacebuilding Commission. He has represented Pakistan at the UN Human Rights Council, and the review of Pakistan’s reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Committee Against Torture (CAT). He has the distinction of representing Pakistan at the UN General Assembly’s Annual Sessions from 2003-2008 & 2011-2016.
Asim has represented Pakistan in major conferences including the OIC Summit in Dakar (March 2008) and the African Union Summits in Abuja (January 2005), Addis Ababa (January 2007), Accra (July 2007), Addis Ababa (January 2008), Sharm-el-Sheikh (July 2008), Sirte (July 2009), and Malabo (July 2011), NAM Ministerial Meeting (Algiers, May 2014), the 60th Anniversary of the Asian-African (Bandung) Conference in April 2015, Paris Climate Change Conference (COP-21, November-December 2015), OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting (Abidjan, July 2017), the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meetings.
Asim is a graduate of the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (1991, B-Sc. Electrical Engineering, Gold Medal), and the University of Punjab, Lahore (1988, Bachelor of Arts, Gold Medal). He attended the 21st Common Training Programme, Civil Services Academy, Lahore (November 1993-June 1994, awarded Best Sportsman), and the 14th Specialized Training Programme, Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad (July 1994-January 1995, awarded Best Probationer). He attended the 13th Senior Management Course at National Management College, Lahore from March-August 2013 and 109th National Management Course from August-December 2018.
Born on 27 November 1966 in Lahore, Asim is married to Asma, and they have three daughters. He speaks French and plays golf, tennis, snooker, and cricket.
He has previously served as Ambassador of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Thailand (June 2017- July 2021), and Permanent Representative to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Having joined Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1993, Asim has held various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in Pakistan Missions abroad: July 2014 to June 2017: Director General (United Nations), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, January 2012-July 2014: Minister/Political Coordinator (UN Security Council), Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, New York, October 2010-December 2011: Director (Security Council & Human Rights), United Nations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, September 2009-September 2010: Deputy Chef de Cabinet of the President of the Sixty-Fourth Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, August-September 2009: Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, January 2003-August 2009: Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, New York, March-November 2002: Section Officer, UN Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, April 2000-February 2002: Section Officer, Personnel Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, March 1997-March 2000: Second Secretary/Cd’A a.i. Embassy of Pakistan, Niamey, Niger, December 1996-February 1997: Section Officer, Africa Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, February 1995-February 1996: Section Officer, Europe Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, As Director General (UN) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he oversaw UN related work at Pakistan’s Missions in New York, Geneva, Rome, Vienna and Nairobi, besides the work of the UN system in Pakistan.
His experience in New York included responsibilities for political, peace and security and reform issues, acting as the focal point for the Security Council, reform of the Security Council, political issues in the General Assembly, Special Political and Decolonization (4th) Committee, conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peace-building issues.
Earlier in the day, President Dr. Arif Alvi has expressed Pakistan’s desire to further strengthen relations with Australia in different areas especially education, agriculture, trade, water management, mining, and Information Technology.
Talking to the High Commissioner Designate of Pakistan to Australia Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in Islamabad on Monday, he said both the countries have huge potential to increase trade and economic cooperation.
He underlined the need to attract Australian investment to Pakistan. He said Pakistan has adopted business-friendly policies and shifted its focus from geopolitics to geo-economics.
The President also asked the High commissioner designate to work for the facilitation and welfare of the Pakistani diaspora in Australia.