Naela Chohan

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Naela Chohan
Naelachohan1982.jpg
Naela Chohan, Pakistan Civil Service, 1982
Pakistan Ambassador to Australia
In office
29th October, 2014 – Current
Pakistan Ambassador to Argentina
In office
26th August, 2009 – 29th April, 2013
Personal details
Born (1958-05-06) 6 May 1958 (age 56)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan Pakistan
Spouse(s) Musa Javed Chohan
Children Usman W. Chohan, Ibrahim A. Chohan
Alma mater Harvard University, Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques, Quaid-e-Azam University, École du Louvre, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts
Occupation Pakistani Ambassador, Feminist Artist
Religion Islam

Naela Chohan (Urdu: نائلہ چوہان, alternative spelling Naila Chohan) (born 6 May 1958 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan) is a Pakistani diplomat and feminist artist. She is also committed to the prohibition of global Chemical Weapons, being the first civilian and woman to head the National Authority on the Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical weapons in Pakistan.[1] She is an alumnus of Quaid-e-Azam University and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

As a seasoned and veteran diplomat, Naela Chohan has worked at, including in leadership positions, eight different Pakistani diplomatic missions on five different continents.[2] Naela Chohan is the current Ambassador of Pakistan to Australia, where she has laid emphasis on bolstering bilateral ties, therein prioritizing the enhancement of trade, business, educational and economic relations.[3][4] She has previously served as Pakistan's Secretary for the Middle East and Africa, prior to which she was the Ambassador of Pakistan to Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador, where she has been a vocal proponent of stronger ties between Pakistan and Latin America.[5][6]

Canada's Embassy Magazine in January, 2008 described her by saying that "though slight in stature and soft in speech, Naela Chohan accounts for 50 per cent of the Pakistani foreign service's most potent power couple."[7]

Education[edit]

Naela Chohan and Musa Javed Chohan at the Estrugamou Building, Buenos Aires (2011)
Naela Chohan inspecting the Royal Guard at Government House, Canberra, Australia.
Naela Chohan, Musa Javed Chohan, Usman Chohan, The Honorable Governor General of Australia Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove at Government House, Canberra, Australia.
Naela Chohan at a ceremony held by the Government of Buenos Aires to commemorate 60 Years of Argentina-Pakistan Friendship. (2012)
Naela Chohan (right) attending the session accrediting Pakistan with Observer Status at the Committee of Representatives of the Latin American Integration Association, ALADI. (2011)
From (L) to (R)Musa Javed Chohan, Naela Chohan, HRH Prince Aga Khan IV, Begum Inaara Aga Khan, and Sahibzada Yaqub Khan in Paris (2002)
From L to R: Musa Javed Chohan, Usman Waqqas Chohan, Begum Tuba Khaleeli, Sahabzada Yaqub Khan, and Naela Chohan, Islamabad, Pakistan (2014).
Ambassador Naela Chohan and President Jose Mujica in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Naela Chohan & Boutros Boutros Ghali at her art exhibition for the International Women's Day at UNESCO in Paris (2002)
Naela Chohan & Datin Sri Endon Mahmood at the Museum of Islamic Heritage, Kuala Lumpur. (1999)
Naela Chohan at the Palacio Estrugamou (2010)
"Noche de Pakistan" in Buenos Aires, organized by Naela Chohan to promote Pakistani culture in Argentina (2012)

Naela Chohan holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Quaid-e-Azam University, and a PhD session certificate in International Relations from Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris. She also received training at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the École du Louvre in Paris. Naela Chohan also undertook the Executive Development Program (EDP) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

As a hyperpolyglot, she has demonstrated fluency in English, French, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu, Persian (acquired at age 35), and Spanish (acquired at age 51).[8]

Career[edit]

Naela Chohan is the current Ambassador of Pakistan to Australia, where she has laid emphasis on bolstering bilateral ties, therein prioritizing the enhancement of trade, business, educational and economic relations.[9][10]She assumed this office on October 29th, 2014 at Government House, Canberra.

As a seasoned and veteran diplomat of Pakistan, Naela Chohan has completed nine different diplomatic missions on five different continents. Naela Chohan's diplomatic assignments have included Additional Secretary (AS) Middle East and Africa, the High Commission of Pakistan in Ottawa, the Pakistan delegation to United Nations General Assembly 41st (1987) Session and 42nd (1988) Session, and the Embassy of Pakistan in Tehran (1989–1993), and Kuala Lumpur (1997–2001). She is currently serving as the Ambassador of Pakistan to Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador.

Naela Chohan is also committed to the prohibition of global Chemical Weapons, being the first civilian and woman to head the National Authority on the Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical weapons in Pakistan.

In addition to her service as a career diplomat, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Employment Corporation of Pakistan and the Inter State Gas System Limited (Pvt); and a member of the Central Board of Film Censors(CBFC). She was also unanimously elected Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Development Center (APDC), Kuala Lumpur (1998–2000).

Ambassador Chohan has been designated a Profesora Visitante at the School of Oriental Studies (Escuela de los Estudios Orientales) at the Universidad del Salvador.[11]

In April, 2014, Naela Chohan assumed the position of Acting Foreign Secretary (A-FS) at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thereby becoming the first female Foreign Service Officer to hold this office. She subsequently reassumed this office in July, 2014.

Peshawar Tragedy[edit]

On 16th December, 2014, a tragic attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan led to the murder of 130 children. Just hours after learning of the heinous events, Naela Chohan, Pakistan's High Commissioner was moved to tears when Canberran children brought her flowers at the High Commission of Pakistan. [12] With the Pakistan flag lowered to half mast outside her office, Naela Chohan said this week's tragic events demonstrate the importance of coming together as a community. [13] "We are deeply touched by the love and affection that Australian children have shown after the loss of innocent lives, young students in Pakistan, in this heinous terrorist attack," she stated.

Mrs. Chohan reiterated that education remained an important thing for "resilient" Pakistanis and the "cold-blooded cowardly" school attack would not weaken the country's resolve to combat terrorists."These are enemies of Pakistan, enemies of Islam and enemies of humanity," she said. "We pay homage to our brave soldiers who are engaged in a valiant effort to root out terrorism from the country. The Pakistani nation stays united in condemning this heinous crime." [14]

The Ecuadorian Investigation[edit]

In April 2011, The Pakistani embassy in Argentina unearthed a plan allegedly prepared by the United States and some other countries to arrest Pakistani immigrants and transfer them to the US.[15] In a report submitted to the government, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Argentina Naila Chohan said that it seemed to be an effort to malign Pakistanis. According to the investigation carried out by the Embassy, the arrested Pakistanis were legal settlers living in Ecuador for decades.[16] The investigation found that the arrested Pakistanis were maltreated, beaten and forced to sign some documents, agreeing to “voluntarily return” to their country. In her report, the Pakistani ambassador referred to a meeting with US Ambassador to Argentina and Special Agent of the Homeland at which she raised the issue of 32 Pakistanis detained during a joint operation conducted by the US government and Ecuador.[17]

Family[edit]

She is married to Musa Javed Chohan, and has two children, Usman W. Chohan and Ibrahim A. Chohan.

Publications[edit]

Chohan, Naela. Implementation: Asia – The National Authority of Pakistan. Chemical Disarmament Quarterly, Volume 5, No. 3, September 2007. [12]

Observer Status with ALADI[edit]

The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Naela Chohan joined on 19 May, as observer, the Committee of Representatives of the Latin American Integration Association, ALADI.[18] Pakistan, after China (1994), Korea (2004) and Japan (2004), is the fourth Asian country to be incorporated as an observer to the ALADI.[19] Ambassador Carmen Pérez Zilia Mason, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Committee of Representatives, welcomed the arrival of Ambassador Chohan, while stressing a "strong interest in issues of integration and the important role [Pakistan] plays in these Latin American countries."[20] In another passage of his speech, Ambassador Perez Mason expressed confidence that "through her presence in our Association as an observer, the Representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ALADI would foster closer relations with [Pakistan] and the rest the of the Asian continent."[21]

Naela Chohan unveiling the Allama Iqbal plaque at the Plaza de Pakistan, Buenos Aires (2012)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MEETING OF THE STATES PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF THE DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION AND STOCKPILING OF BACTERIOLOGICAL (BIOLOGICAL) AND TOXIN WEAPONS AND ON THEIR DESTRUCTION, Page 11 [1]
  2. ^ SBS Australia (Urdu Service) Message from Ambassador Chohan to the Pakistani Community in Australia
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ Roundable at the Institute for Regional Studies, Pakistan
  6. ^ Naela Chohan for Enhancing Ties with Latin American Countries
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ Visión Siete Interview #1 Naela Chohan Interview (Spanish)
  9. ^ [5]
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ La Embajadora de Pakistán dio una conferencia en la USAL
  12. ^ Pakistan's High Commissioner touched by affection of Canberra children after terror attack, Canberra Times Article
  13. ^ Western Australia Today, Pakistan High Commissioner Interview
  14. ^ Sydney Morning Herald Article, on Naela Chohan
  15. ^ Dawn Article – 5 May 2011 Plan unearthed to arrest, transfer immigrants to US [7]
  16. ^ States Times Article – 5 May 2011 Plan unearthed to arrest, transfer immigrants to US [8]
  17. ^ Pakistan Daily Times Article – 5 May 2011 Plan unearthed to arrest, transfer immigrants to US [9]
  18. ^ Press Release from the Latin American Integration Association
  19. ^ Press Release from the Latin American Integration Association
  20. ^ Speech of the Chairperson of the Committee of Representatives of the Latin American Integration Association, Carmen Perez Zilia Mason [10]
  21. ^ Speech of the Secretary General of the Latin American Integration Association, Oscar Quina [11]