Government’s decision to summon 10 ambassadors

The government has decided to recall 10 ambassadors whose terms have expired this year.

Among them are professional diplomats. Monirul Islam (Italy) and Asud Ahmed (Greece). Both of them will start PRL in April. Khalilur Rahman (Canada) and Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan (Germany) are among the contractually appointed ambassadors who will expire in April. Mohammad Sufiyur Rahman (Switzerland) and Major General Md. Ashikuzzaman (Kuwait) will expire in May. The terms of Sultana Laila Hossain (Poland) and Mohammad Abdul Hai (Thailand) will expire in June. Shahabuddin Ahmad (Japan) in July and Md. in September. Fazlul Bari (Iraq) will expire.

In this regard, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, ‘According to the process, instructions are sent to the ambassadors to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately. But the practice is — they report a day or two before the expiry date. However, it does not affect the administrative work.

Meanwhile, another source said that 9 ambassadors have already been informed about the return.

There is a practice of extending the tenure of professional diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after they end their government service. For some ambassadorships it is around three to four years, creating a major hurdle for mid-level officers to become ambassadors.

An official said in this regard, we have informed the foreign minister and foreign secretary about our problem. They understand this.

A professional diplomat continues to serve as an ambassador in his later years and if he continues to serve as an ambassador after 59 years, the opportunities for middle-ranking officers decrease. He also said that as a result of this, they are disappointed.

According to government rules, officers of the rank of Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs or above are eligible to become ambassadors. Foreign cadre officers are traditionally ambassadors but not contractually. The President may appoint any qualified person from outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a contractual ambassador.

At present Bangladesh has embassies in 60 countries and the president appoints foreign cadres or from outside. Provision is made for at least 70 per cent of the total number of ambassadors to be foreign cadre and a maximum of 30 per cent contractual appointments. They are generally appointed for three years. But this is not always followed, he said.