New Consul General Takes Charge at Los Angeles Consulate
Los Angeles, CA: Mr Abdul Jabbar Memon assumed charge as the Consul General of Pakistan at the Pakistan Consulate in Los Angeles on December 21, 2015.
Consul General Memon sat down with Pakistan Link for an exclusive interview at the Consulate. Following is a verbatim reproduction of the question-and-answer session.
PL: Please tell us about your educational background, starting from your early education.
CG Memon: My initial schooling was in my hometown, Tandojam district Hyderabad. I attended the Government Primary School in Tandojam and the Cantonment School in Hyderabad up to the 6th grade. I subsequently studied at the Cadet College Pitaro up to the 12th grade and then enrolled in the Sindh Medical College (SMC), Karachi, for a medical degree.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t continue my studies there - Allah (swt) had a different plan for me then that was decided by my family! I discontinued perusing my medical degree in my 2nd year at SMC, and then finished my graduation and appeared in the Civil Services Competitive examination in 1989. After clearing the Civil Services exam in the first attempt, I was selected for Pakistan Railways Occupational Group. I continued my training there and served at the Railway Marshalling Yard at Pipri in Karachi. In 1991, I reappeared in the Civil Services Exam and was placed in the Foreign Service of Pakistan.
PL: You have served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for almost 25 years now. Most recently you served as the Director General Afghanistan, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. Please tell us about your postings outside Pakistan.
CG Memon: Prior to joining as Consul General in Los Angeles, I served as Director General Europe and Director General Afghanistan in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs I have also held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistan Missions abroad. I served as the Third Secretary, Embassy of Pakistan, Madrid, Spain; Deputy Head of Mission (DHM), Embassy of Pakistan, Cairo, Egypt; and Deputy High Commissioner/Minister, High Commission of Pakistan, Pretoria, South Africa. My posting as the Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles is my fourth posting abroad.
PL: What has been your experience with the various Pakistani expatriate communities in the countries you have served so far and what is your expectation of the community here in the West Coast of the United States of America?
CG Memon: My experiences varied from country to country. We do have thriving and vibrant communities in the countries I served in. When I was initially in Madrid, I did my Spanish language course at the University of Salamanca - I had limited interaction with the Pakistani community as the Third Secretary, Embassy of Pakistan, Madrid, Spain. In Cairo, there was a smaller community as there were about 1,000 members of the Pakistani community and most of those were working for the United Nations, Banks or had other high profile jobs - it was relatively easier to serve their needs because it was a smaller community - but when I joined the High Commission of Pakistan in Pretoria, South Africa as the Deputy High Commissioner I had heavy involvement with the community - unfortunately South Africa used to be a hotbed of illegal immigration, not only from Pakistan but from many other countries – there were some peculiar issues dealing with the community but by the grace of Allah I was very successful in serving the community and taking care of their needs. I have fond memories of all the places I have served and many of the community members from those communities still stay in touch with me.
It is my second day here at the Pakistan Consulate Los Angeles. I am sure that there is a great dynamic and vibrant Pakistani community here and I am looking forward to meeting and serving the needs of this wonderful community!
PL: What are your immediate goals and priorities?
CG Memon: My top priority is to make sure that our Consulate is serving the needs of the entire Pakistani community within the jurisdiction of the Pakistan Consulate Los Angeles, which is the 11 Western States of the United States. I am the Consul General of all the members of the Pakistani community – it would be my sincere endeavor to extend the services of the Consulate to the whole community. I would love to have the community’s assistance and contribution where we can jointly work and build the image of Pakistan in the USA, and jointly pursue goals that address a range of bilateral issues and initiatives that can contribute in the building of better relations between Pakistan and the United States.
PL: What do you think are the current and future prospects of the US-Pakistan relations?
CG Memon: There have been ups and downs in the US-Pakistan relations over the years. However, a resilient US-Pakistan Partnership is vital to regional and global peace and security to address evolving threats in South Asia. The geo-strategic position of Pakistan and Pakistan’s status as a nuclear power makes it an important country in the region. Pakistan is committed to fostering a deeper, stronger, multidimensional partnership with the US based on mutual respect, trust and understanding to cooperatively tackle the global challenges of the twenty-first century.
PL: When you look back at your long career in Foreign Service, what makes you feel proud of what you have accomplished in your profession?
CG Memon: I have served my country with dignity, honesty and sincerity. It has always been a great honor for me to serve my community abroad and I have looked after my community to the best of my capabilities and left behind a good legacy and good memories. By the grace of Allah, I have enjoyed a long and unblemished career in the Foreign Service and hit all my personal career goals. Now I am looking forward to serving the community here at the Pakistan Consulate in Los Angeles.
PL: What do you like to do in your spare time?
CG Memon: In my school days I used to play many sports; cricket, hockey, football, basketball, swimming, tennis, and squash. When I was in Islamabad I used to go hiking in the Margala Hights. Now my favorite activity is my morning walk that I do very regularly. Besides that, I love to read books - I also love to cook!
PL: What message would you like to give to the Pakistani community through Pakistan Link.
CG Memon: My message is that I am the Consul General of the entire Pakistani community. I am here to serve the whole community and to resolve their issues. I invite every member of the community to bring any issue or problem that they are facing to my attention. I will do my best to address these concerns or issues efficiently. I have an open-door policy and I want to make sure that whoever needs to talk to me can easily get through to me.
This article was published in December 25, 2015 issue of Pakistan Link.
To read this entire issue click on the link below: