DCM Sadiq Returns to Pakistan after a Successful Tenure
By C. Naseer Ahmad



DCM Mohammad Sadiq and Group Captain Azhar Hussain with the Commander of USS Harry Truman – a rare opportunity for a diplomat to be allowed on a nuclear powered aircraft carrier

Washington, DC: A happy man is a successful person. Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan Embassy departing Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), is a happy man who appears to have successfully accomplished the mission of representing his country admirably. He had the usual friendly demeanor – lacking any tinge of bitterness or regrets - during my recent visit to his office.

Talking about his four-year tenure in Washington was a pleasant experience that told much about the man as also about the challenges he hads overcome. With a limited staff but seemingly bountiful energy he has galvanized the Pakistani American community to accomplish a number of important milestones such as the successful launch of the “Rising Leaders” program, the Pakistan Caucus on Capitol Hill and an energized Pakistan American Leadership Center. One of the refreshing things one finds is that he was quite appreciative about the contributions made by the community members – of various backgrounds and temperaments.
One thing remarkable about Mr. Sadiq is that he does not look at the watch during a visit, which is something many people do signaling “Your time is up.” But despite his smiling face, he never loses focus of the job at hand. For instance, when presented with a memo to sign, he will go over it carefully pulling out any relevant additional material from the piles on his desk and communicate the importance of each item to his assistants. It is this attention to details that distinguishes the successful from the mediocre ones.
Being the Deputy Chief of Mission is not easy. This demanding job requires playing second fiddle and a balancing act. Gaining too much attention can be detrimental to one’s career. But, Mr. Sadiq seems to have enjoyed wide latitude from two successive Pakistani ambassadors – Ashraf Jahangir Qazi and General Jahangir Karamat. There are obviously few things he must be doing right. “The best thing about him is that he is not smitten by bureaucracy,” says Mohammad Shaukat Hussain, Mr. Sadiq’s former colleague - who has served as private secretary to five foreign ministers of Pakistan and ten Pakistani ambassadors of Pakistan in five different countries. Mr. Shaukat Hussain further added, “During the absence of an ambassador, Mr. Sadiq performed as Charge d’Affaires, ad interim, with such a panache that any diplomat can be envious about him.”
Even though the Washington metropolitan area is one of the most beautiful places of the world, it is also a setting that presents some daunting challenges. Washington is home to many successful people; many have made fortunes from their medical and dental professions while others have gathered wealth by selling gasoline, food items, airline tickets and by launching other business ventures. Often egos get bruised easily. So a successful diplomat must not only be able to embrace the prima donnas but also be able to reach beyond them to the community at large. Just as one must bear the sweltering summer heat, so also must one weather the storms created by a wannabe. Quite similar to the frigid cold winters, a diplomat sometimes has to bear the occasional cold isolation like Pakistan suffered after the nuclear tests. And, like the ebb and flow of the Potomac River, one must take the political ups and downs in stride. It seems from these conversations, that Mr. Sadiq seemed to have relished all the beauties Washington life had to offer, despite sometimes being cloistered in his office until past midnight.
Diplomacy is often described as “the art or practice of conducting international relations, as in negotiating alliances, treaties, and agreements.” But, it is also a game in which there are real winners and losers. Just as the Washington Redskins had been floundering as a team for some time, so also has the Pakistani American community been a bit adrift – torn at times by competing loyalties, confused ideologies and occasionally pure jealousy. Despite many successful stars, the community’s track record has been spotty; many remain clueless about the success of the Indian American community.
A very active role – with the attendant risks – by Mr. Sadiq has energized the community, which now has a chance to accomplish some triumphs. The “Rising Leaders” program – if followed through - is among the wining move that presages success. It could inspire a future Jinnah like figure to confidently let the word go forth that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Pakistani Americans - born in this country, tempered by reality, disciplined, peaceful, united and highly organized to accomplish many laurels for Pakistan.

 

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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