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, Women's Rights Advocate and 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 assumed a leadership position in 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] Along with only a handful of other diplomats, Naela Chohan represents the first and senior-most cohort of women to rise to the highest echelon of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [7]

Canada's weekly foreign policy 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."[8]


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 (right) attending the session accrediting Pakistan with Observer Status at the Committee of Representatives of the Latin American Integration Association, ALADI. (2011)

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 29, 2014 at Government House, Canberra.

Along with only a handful of other diplomats, Naela Chohan represents the first and senior-most cohort of women to rise to the highest echelon of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [11] Canada's weekly foreign policy 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."[12]

As a seasoned and veteran diplomat of Pakistan, Naela Chohan has completed eight 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.[13]

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.

Art and Advocacy for Women's Rights[edit]

Alongside her diplomatic career, Ambassador Naela Chohan is a strong advocate of Women's Rights through the medium of visual arts, and her work Souffrance is on permanent display at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and was inaugurated by Boutros Boutros Ghali on the UN International Women's Day, 2002.[14] The UNESCO Bureau of Strategic Planning Section for Women and Gender Equality described her work as "a reflection on the position of women in society , illiteracy, economic empowerment, women's contribution to society and discrimination they face".[15] Her work Enlightenment (1999) is on permanent display at the Museum of Islamic Heritage, Kuala Lumpur; a piece that was inaugurated by the First Lady Datin Sri Endon Mahmood of Malaysia. Other major displays and exhibitions of her work have taken place in Paris (2002), Buenos Aires (2011), and in Ottawa (2008) where her exposition was inaugurated by First Lady of Canada Mrs. Laureen Harper.[16][17]

Education[edit]

Naela Chohan holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Quaid-e-Azam University (1982), and a PhD session certificate in International Relations from Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris (2002). She also received training at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the École du Louvre in Paris (2001). Naela Chohan also undertook the Executive Development Program (EDP) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2006).

As a hyperpolyglot, she has demonstrated fluency in English, French, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu, Persian (acquired at age 35), and Spanish (acquired at age 51).[18]

Peshawar Tragedy[edit]

On 16 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.[19] 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.[20] "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." [21] Ambassador Naela Chohan held a vigil at the Pakistan High Commission on December 19th, 2014.

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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]

Family[edit]

Ambassador Naela Chohan is married to Ambassador (R) Musa Javed Chohan, who has served as Pakistan's Ambassador to France (2001), Permanent Representative to UNESCO (2001), and High Commissioner to Canada (2007) and Malaysia (1997). She has two children, Usman W. Chohan (currently at the World Bank Institute) and Ibrahim A. Chohan (currently at the National Bank of Canada).

Observer Status in Latin America[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.[25] Pakistan, after China (1994), Korea (2004) and Japan (2004), is the fourth Asian country to be incorporated as an observer to the ALADI.[26] 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."[27] 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."[28]

Gallery[edit]

Ambassador Naela Chohan of Pakistan Pakistan
Ambassador Naela Chohan is the current High Commissioner of Pakistan to the Commonwealth of Australia Australia, former ambassador of Pakistan to the Republic of Argentina Argentina.

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. ^ The Nation Daily Welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the glass ceiling is gone
  8. ^ weekly Canadian foreign policy Embassy Magazine.embassynews.ca/diplomatic-circles/2008/01/30/the-blame-game-on-afghanistan-is-not-constructive-says-pakistans-new/35942 Canada's Embassy Magazine Jeff Davis, Ottawa Canada. January, 2008.
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ [5]
  11. ^ The Nation Daily Welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the glass ceiling is gone
  12. ^ Canada's Embassy Magazine Jeff Davis, Ottawa Canada. January, 2008.
  13. ^ La Embajadora de Pakistán dio una conferencia en la USAL
  14. ^ UNESCO Press Release - Bureau of Strategic Planning - Section for Women and Gender Equality (2002)
  15. ^ UNESCO Press Release - Bureau of Strategic Planning - Section for Women and Gender Equality (2002)
  16. ^ Naela Chohan’s ‘Art from the Heart’ exhibition Launch with Laureen Harper Amna Hakim, Rothwell Gallery, Ottawa
  17. ^ Diplomat displays artwork at east-end gallery Laura Cummings, The Labradorian Newspaper, 2009"
  18. ^ Visión Siete Interview #1 Naela Chohan Interview (Spanish)
  19. ^ Pakistan's High Commissioner touched by affection of Canberra children after terror attack, Canberra Times Article
  20. ^ [6]
  21. ^ Sydney Morning Herald Article, on Naela Chohan
  22. ^ Dawn Article – 5 May 2011 Plan unearthed to arrest, transfer immigrants to US [7]
  23. ^ States Times Article – 5 May 2011 Plan unearthed to arrest, transfer immigrants to US [8]
  24. ^ Pakistan Daily Times Article – 5 May 2011 Plan unearthed to arrest, transfer immigrants to US [9]
  25. ^ Press Release from the Latin American Integration Association
  26. ^ Press Release from the Latin American Integration Association
  27. ^ Speech of the Chairperson of the Committee of Representatives of the Latin American Integration Association, Carmen Perez Zilia Mason [10]
  28. ^ Speech of the Secretary General of the Latin American Integration Association, Oscar Quina [11]