Renowned diplomat and former Ambassador to the United Nations and China, Muhammad Masood Khan, was elected 27th President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir by joint electoral college comprising 55 members of AJK Legislative Assembly and AJK Council with two third majority. He has secured 42 votes.
Masood Khan was nominated by the Muslim League (N) AJK as their Presidential candidate. Prime Minister AJK Raja Farooq Haider himself proposed the name of Masood Khan on behalf of his majority parliamentary party.
All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference and Jamat-e-Islami also supported his candidature.
Masood Khan enjoys the confidence of AJK Assembly and AJK Council and in fact a wide political spectrum of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
Masood Khan has thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his nomination and for reposing full confidence in him. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appreciated the role of Masood Khan in highlighting the Kashmir cause during his various diplomatic assignments particularly during his tenure as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN. After his election Mr. Khan has said that Kashmir liberation movement will get momentum and he will work hard for this cause.
Masood Khan has worked with the UN in New York and Geneva and other multilateral forums, for more than twenty years. He became President of the UN Security Council in January 2013. He was Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Geneva, where he also represented, as Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, 131 developing countries in various international organizations.
After election as President Azad Kashmir, Masood Khan vowed to work resolutely for the just of cause of freedom of oppressed people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir and to help with the development of AJK. Masood Khan was born in Rawalakot, Poonch and studied there.
With the election of Masood Khan, observers expect the Kashmir movement to gather momentum as the newly elected President has a proven record as an ardent campaigner for the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions, end to Indian atrocities, and the initiation of a sustained, substantive and structured dialogue process to resolve disputes between India and Pakistan.
Over the years, Masood Khan has worked hard in the United Nations and various capitals to build support for the realization of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. During his tenure as Permanent Representative to the United Nations he reached out to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council to persuade them to fulfill the UN’s promise to help decide Kashmir’s political future through a fair, just and democratic dispensation.
In August 2013 he helped organize the UN Secretary General Ban’s first official visit to Islamabad during which the Secretary General had, inter alia, detailed talks on Jammu and Kashmir with the newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. On that occasion, the Secretary General offered his mediation and good offices to India and Pakistan subject to their concurrence. Masood Khan assisted the Prime Minister in 2013 and 2014 to raise the Kashmir issue at the United Nations.
Earlier, as a delegate, for years, Masood Khan highlighted in the UN General Assembly, the Third Committee, and the Human Rights Commission the massive, gross and consistent human rights violations in IOK against the people of Jammu and Kashmir. In this eneavour, he received scores of delegations of political leadership and human rights activists from both Azad Kashmir and the Indian Occupied Kashmir for their participation in the UN and other international forums.
During his five year stint in Washington D.C., he worked to urge US lawmakers and Administration to help Kashmiris secure their freedom and liberty. He spoke widely on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at American universities and think tanks; and to the international media.
In the past one year, he has been talking to multiple Pakistani and Kashmiri audiences at the seminars and conferences in universities and think tanks about ways and means to re-energize and re-strategize Kashmir movement to achieve results.
Masood Khan has a tack record of effective international leadership in diverse matters encompassing peace and security, nuclear diplomacy, prevention of proliferation of biological weapons, social and economic development, Internet governance, migration, and international humanitarian law. Areas of his specialization include Kashmir, South Asia, Pak-China relations, and Pak-US relations.
He is a respected diplomat and negotiator of international standing in the UN, the Islamic world, the Western countries and China. He is known in the international community for his refined and result-oriented diplomatic skills. He is an accomplished speaker both in English and Urdu.
He studied the Chinese language from a Chinese university and has served in China for eight years to promote Pakistan-China relations. Last year, President Xi Jinping conferred on him highest Chinese award for promoting Pakistan-China friendship. Over the years, he has worked on Pakistan-China projects on infrastructure, energy, construction, and industrial development, including in Azad Kashmir.
He is also a renowned broadcaster and was an English newscaster and a TV anchor in his twenties.
His short bio is given below:
Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In this capacity, he represented Pakistan as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council, and he was the President of the UN Security council in January 2103.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (September 2008 to September 2012).
Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva (2005 to 2008).
Chief Negotiator on Nuclear Security
Pakistan’s Sherpa (Chief Negotiator) for the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process from 2009 to early 2014.
He retired from the Foreign Service of Pakistan in BS-22.
Other posts in Islamabad and abroad
From August 2003 to March 2005, he worked as Director General (United Nations) and Director General (OIC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From September 2003 to May 2004, he served as Director General (Disarmament). In June 2003, he was appointed as Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a position he held till March 2005. From November 2002 to August 2003, he worked as Director General (East Asia and Pacific).
Khan also worked, in various positions, in Pakistan’s diplomatic missions in Beijing (1982 to 1986), The Hague (1986 to 1989), the United Nations New York (1993 to 1997) and Washington DC (1997 to 2002).
Over the years, he has also specialized in multilateral diplomacy and important bilateral relationships, especially with China and the United States. Areas of his specialization include Kashmir, South Asia, Pak-China relations, Pak-US relations, nuclear diplomacy, and internet governance.
Various leadership positions he has held in multilateral and intergovernmental forums include:
- President of the Conference on Disarmament – 2005
- Chairman of the Committee on the Internet Governance of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) – 2005
- Chairman of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Council – 2005-2006
- President of the 6th Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) – 2006
- Chairman of the BWC States Parties Meeting – 2007
- Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, Geneva – 2005-2006
- Chairman of the Governmental Group in the International Labour Organization (ILO) – 2006-2007
- Chairman of the International Labour Conference (ILC) Reform Committee – 2007-2008
- Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent 2007.
- President of the UN Security Council January 2013
- Co-Chair of the Friends of the Group on Sustainable Energy for All
- Vice President of the UN Economic and Social Council 2013
- Vice President of the UNICEF Executive Board 2014
- President UNICEF Executive Board
Mr. Khan has attended many UN conferences and summits as delegate, representative and leader. He has spoken widely at various national and international forums, think tanks and universities on international affairs, strategic issues, economic development, energy, nuclear security, and disarmament.
Academia and media
Mr. Khan was a Lecturer in English in the 1970. During that period he was also a TV anchor; and a newscaster.