Islamabad, Sep 3 (IANS) The elevation of Wajid Khan, a Canadian of Pakistani origin, as the new special adviser for South Asia to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has excited Pakistanis who think they have scored a diplomatic point vis a vis India.
Before migrating to Canada, Khan was with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for eight years during which he was taken a Prisoner of War (POW) during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, The News International newspaper said on Sunday.
'India appears non-pulsed at the announcement of Khan,' the newspaper said, adding that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs is 'provoked' by Khan's public statement that he wanted to broker peace between India and Pakistan.
A large number Indian émigrés have held key positions in the governments in the West. People of Indians origin have been elected as members of parliament in Canada, while former Pakistani citizens have also been members of British Parliament.
The News International further said: 'The question in the minds of the people in the Indian High Commission, Ottawa, was: what kind of advice would a man such as Khan tender to the prime minister on issues pertaining to South Asia? There was a shock waiting for them'.
The mandate given by Harper was that Khan would travel to the two hotspots of South Asia and the Middle East in the coming weeks and report on medium and long-term opportunities to further Canadian engagement there. The report was to be completed in October.
But there is no doubt that whatever his origins, Wajid Khan has the support of his boss who said, 'Canada has an increasing number of interests in both South Asia and the Middle East'.
'I am delighted that Wajid Khan will be sharing his insights on future developments with the Government of Canada.' He added that Khan 'has long been a prominent voice in the Toronto Pakistani and Muslim communities'.