Pak's US envoy calls colleague Basit's letter about him "disgusting"
Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Pakistan's former foreign secretary and current envoy to the US, said he won't respond to a "disgusting" letter by his country's former Indian envoy Abdul Basit. In a widely circulated leaked letter, Basit had dubbed Chaudhry "the worst" foreign secretary, signalling divisions in Pakistan's diplomatic establishment. Chaudhry attributed Basit's letter to the latter's jealousy for not being appointed foreign secretary himself.
Basit wrote the letter in July 2017 in response to the farewell letter that Chaudhry presented in March 2017, before resigning as foreign secretary to become Pakistan's ambassador to Washington, DC.
Calling Chaudhry "the worst foreign secretary ever," Basit expresses his concern that Chaudhry would also be "the worst Pakistan ambassador in Washington, DC." Conveying that he thought Chaudhry should be sacked from Washington, Basit further notes, "you should not be given extension beyond your superannuation on February 27, 2018". Basit cited various examples to write that Chaudhry's "heart is not in the right place."
Until now Basit has twice been overlooked for the foreign secretary post. Chaudhry was chosen over Basit the first time. Chaudhry was replaced by Tehmina Janjua as foreign secretary following the former's resignation, ahead of his retirement. Could Basit's letter be a sign of resentment?
India and Pakistan had achieved a diplomatic breakthrough in July 2015, when Pakistan's then foreign secretary, Chaudhry, and India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar released a joint statement, where both countries pledged to work together against terrorism. Basit lists the statement among examples for Chaudhry's incompetence. Basit also sees Pakistan losing its bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council as Chaudhry's failure.
"May Allah help Pakistan when people like you with weak and dubious credentials are at such important positions", Basit writes to conclude the letter.
The letter points to an internal rift within Pakistan's diplomatic establishment, between those leaning towards the military like Basit and those who advocate for the interests of the civilian regime. While this has always been known, the letter proves that quarters within Pakistan are interested in maintaining friendly relations with India. However, the powerful anti-India military's sentiment will reign supreme over the unstable civilian government.