Ambassador Asif Durrani Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The new Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, Asif Ali Khan Durrani. who took charge earlier this week, presented his credentials yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Abdullah Bin Mohammad Bin Butti AI Hamed, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, received a copy of the credentials from Durrani,

AI Hamed wished the ambassador success in the performance of his duties so as to enhance cooperation between the UAE and Pakistan.

Durrani expressed his happiness at representing his country in the UAE.

The post of the ambassador at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi has been vacant for the last eight months since the last ambassador, Jamil Khan, left in June, 2013.

Pakistani expatriates in the UAE welcomed the appointment of a career diplomat as ambassador. It is the first time in more than two decades that a career diplomat has been appointed as the ambassador to the UAE. Earlier, either hand-picked people with politicial affiliations or retired military officials had served in this position. At least, three of the previous ambassadors were appointed on the basis of political affiliations with the ruling party in Pakistan.

“It is a good sign and we hope that Durrani will also focus on solving the community issues in addition to carrying out his diplomatic duties at the top level,” said Khurram Ameen, a Pakistani businessman in Dubai.

Durrai is ready to face the challenges facing the community and is set to further improve bilateral relations with focus on trade and investment.

He holds a masters degree from the University of Balochistan, Quetta and a masters in International Studies and Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), from the University of London.

Durrani joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1986 and served in various diplomatic missions, inlcuding India, from 1990-94. He served as Additional Secretary (Foreign Affairs) in the President’s Secretariat from February 2012 to August 2013. He joined the Mission in Abu Dhabi on February 2.