Haroon ready to call it a day

Abdullah Hussain Haroon
Haroon ready to call it a day

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon may relinquish his slot after the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly later this month, it has been reliably learnt.

Haroon informed the government of his decision in July this year and since then he has been spending most of his time in Pakistan. According to diplomatic sources, Haroon’s resignation has not been accepted and he has been asked to continue at least until the UN General Assembly’s session after which a final decision about this important matter would be made.

It is not the first time that Haroon has informed the government about his resignation. He had done so in the past as well but was asked by the Presidency to continue with his professional obligations. Haroon decided to resign in July, reportedly owing to his differences with the government over certain policy matters and interference in his duties by some top officials in the Foreign Office. One media report in July said Haroon wanted to support China and Russia over the UN resolution against Syria while the government wanted to support the resolution. Nonetheless, the Foreign Office rejected the reports about the resignation of Pakistan’s ambassador to United Nations back in July and said the ambassador was still working in the UN for Pakistan.

A source said irrespective of what the Foreign Office said, Ambassador Haroon did not seem interested in his job anymore and wanted more time for himself and his family. He said despite Haroon’s desire to call it a day, the government and especially the president, would still want him to continue with his job as his performance had been rated good since he assumed his slot. When approached, another Pakistani diplomat said it was true that Ambassador Haroon had been in Pakistan for most of the time since July, when he decided to resign, but he would be in New York before the UN General Assembly’s session where President Asif Zardari would be representing Pakistan.

Zardari would reach New York on September 24 and would be there until September 27. The president’s speech at the UN General Assembly is scheduled for September 25. “The president may discuss the matter of Ambassador Haroon’s resignation in person with him during his visit to New York and after that it would become clear whether he (Haroon) would continue or finally quit his office,” the diplomat said. About Haroon’s likely successor, he said it was a matter that would be looked into once a final decision was made about the current permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations.

He said like the deputy prime minister’s slot, the PPP government had agreed to give the office of Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations to the PML-Q as well and Mushahid Hussain Syed was the top contender of his party in this regard. However, he said commitment was made by the PPP months ago and now it was not clear whether Mushahid or his party would still be interested in that office or not as there are only a few months left in the completion of the government’s tenure. – PT