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Envoy vs envoy: Pakistan ambassador to US says Abdul Basit’s letter is ‘disgusting’

Pakistan’s envoy to the US has dismissed a scathing letter sent to him by Abdul Basit, the former ambassador in New Delhi, and said it was “rude and uncalled for”.

world Updated: Aug 30, 2017 22:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry,Abdul Basit,Pakistan’s ambassador to the US
File photo of Pakistan’s former foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry(right) waving as he walks with Pakistan's former envoy to India, Abdul Basit, after he arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on April 26, 2016. (AFP)

Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, on Wednesday dismissed a scathing letter written to him by Abdul Basit, the former envoy to India, describing it as “disgusting” and “rude and uncalled for”.

Basit, in his letter dated July 5, had described Chaudhry as Pakistan’s “worst foreign secretary ever” and criticised his tenure for several foreign policy lapses. He also called for Chaudhry’s immediate removal from the post in Washington.

Chaudhry, who has not publicly spoken on Basit’s letter, gave his response in an email sent to Pakistani journalists, Dawn reported.

“The letter is too rude and uncalled for. He wrongly thinks that he could not reach to the post of FS because of me. He has since retired,” he wrote, referring to Basit’s missive that has been widely shared on social media since Monday.

“I have served my country to the best of my abilities. Some of us like Basit fail to realise that life is a combination of human endeavour and fate. We have to accept in humility what life gives us and then thank the Creator for that. Jealousy has no remedy.”

Chaudhry said many colleagues had expressed their support for him after Basit’s letter became public. He also expressed a “sense of disappointment” at being targeted in this manner.

A statement issued by the Association of Former Ambassadors said Basit’s letter was “prompted by personal differences between two officers of the Foreign Service”.

“The language and tone of the letter was upsetting and the members were of the view that it should not have been written or made public,” the former envoys said.

They also said the feud would only serve to “add to the difficulties of the Foreign Office, which is faced with so many challenges in the region and globally”.

Basit, who was passed over twice for the post of foreign secretary, took early retirement after serving as the envoy to India for three years. In 2013, he was pipped to the post by Chaudhry, who was named Pakistan’s envoy to the US earlier this year.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 22:56 IST