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Agha Shahi Edit Profile

Mathematician , physicist , statesman

Agha Shahi was a Pakistani statesman and a career Foreign service officer who was the leading civilian figure in the military government from 1977 to 1982. A diplomat and technocrat by profession, he joined Foreign Services in 1951 and held important diplomatic assignments in the United States, China and the United Nations. He served as the Foreign secretary— a leading bureaucratic position in Pakistan Government, in 1973 until 1977.


In 1939, Shahi enrolled in Indian Institute of Science where he joined the Department of Physics, and receiving his B.Sc. in Physics, followed by M.Sc. in applied physics and M.A. in Mathematics in 1944.


Agha Shahi opted for the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1951 and played a prominent role in formulation of foreign policy right from the early years of Pakistan's creation. He was part of various delegations to United Nations during the 1950s and 1960s and served with A.S. Bokhari (known as Patras Bokhari), Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Prince Aly Khan (father of Prince Karim Aga Khan and Pakistan's permanent representative to UN).

Shahi served as Counselor in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington from 1955-58. He was Pakistan's Deputy Permanent Representative to UN from 1958–61 and later served as Permanent Representative to United Nations from 1967-72. During his term as permanent representative to United Nations, he played an important role in enabling China to become member of the United Nations. He became Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1964 and served in that position till 1967.

In 1972 he was appointed Pakistan' Ambassador to China. In 1973, Shahi became Foreign Secretary and served in that position till the fall of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977. Shahi was appointed Advisor on foreign affairs/foreign minister in 1977 by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and resigned from the position of foreign minister in 1982, after developing serious differences with General Zia.

Shahi led various delegations of Pakistan to UN General Assembly, conferences of Non-Aligned Movement and Organization of Islamic Conference. He was a member of various UN commissions and was also elected Chairman of the UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) of which he had been a member since 1982. In 1993, Shahi was Co-Chairman of Pakistan delegation to the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna. Shahi also served as Chairman of Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad and headed Islamabad Council of World Affairs - a private think tank.


  • book

    • Pakistan's security and foreign policy


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