The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister belongs to a well-known Sufi family, with his father, the late Professor Syed Alay Mohammad Abdur Rauf Fatemi, a well-known educationist and scholar of repute in former East Pakistan.
A career diplomat for over 35 years, he held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistan Missions abroad, including Moscow (twice), New York, Washington (twice) and Beijing. He was Additional Foreign Secretary, (Americas and Europe Divisions) and later worked in the Prime Minister’s Office, in charge of Defense, Defense Production and Foreign Affairs. Later, he was promoted to the highest rank in the country’s civil service, that of a Federal Secretary.
A delegate to the UN General Assembly Sessions from 1982 to 1986, he also attended numerous Non-Aligned and OIC Conferences, while also being involved in the UN sponsored Geneva negotiations on Afghanistan, in the mid-eighties.
He served as High Commissioner (Ambassador) of Pakistan to Zimbabwe, with concurrent accreditation to Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. Later, he served as Ambassador to the United States, Jordan, Belgium and Luxembourg and finally, to the European Union (Brussels), from where he retired in 2004.
On retirement, he joined the Pakistan Muslim League (N), assisting the Party on foreign policy matters. He also taught at the Foreign Service Academy, the National Defense University, the Administrative Staff College and other institutions. He also wrote a weekly column for five years for the daily “Dawn” and later, for the daily “Express Tribune,” on national security issues. He is also a co-author of the Brookings Institution’s book: “The Future of Pakistan”. He is fluent in Russian and Bengali.
The Special Assistant has the status of a Minister of State.
He is married and has four daughters and four grandchildren.