Introduction

One of Pakistan's senior most diplomats who held several high offices in the Government, including Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Agha Zafar Hilaly was born in 1911 in Bangalore, India. He joined the Indian Civil

Agha Zafar Hilaly


Professional Achievements


One of Pakistan's senior most diplomats who held several high offices in the Government, including Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Agha Zafar Hilaly was born in 1911 in Bangalore, India. He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1936 at the age of 25. He opted for Pakistan during at the time of partition and settled in Pakistan along with his family in 1947.

As the Government of Pakistan was in the process of establishing its Foreign Service cadre, all officers of the Civil Service of Pakistan that succeeded the Indian Civil Service were encouraged to join the new cadre. Agha Hilaly was one of the first to do so and played an important role in shaping the strategic dimensions of Pakistan's foreign policy.

He was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Scandinavian countries with residence in Stockholm from 1956 to 1959. In 1959 he was appointed Ambassador to Moscow and concurrently to Prague, till 1961, when he was assigned to India. While representing Pakistan at the United Nations and serving as Ambassador to the United States.

In the latter position, he facilitated the secret visit of US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to China, a fact acknowledged by President Richard Nixon. His younger brother Agha Shahi also an ICS officer followed in his footsteps and rose to be Foreign Minister of Pakistan. One of their uncles Sir Mirza Ismail served as Diwan Prime Minister of the princely state of Mysore, Jaipur and Hyderabad, India from 1926 to 1947.

His nephew Akbar Mirza Khaleeli was a prominent Indian Diplomat and served as Indian Ambassador to Iran, Italy and Australia and was Advisor to the Indian Government on Middle Eastern Affairs. His son Zafar Hilaly is also a former ambassador of Pakistan.

Agha Hilaly received several international awards, including, Hilal-i-Quiad-I-Azam in Pakistan, Grand Cross of Order of Northern Star from Sweden and Grand Cross of Order of Gurkha from Nepal.

Agha Hilaly died in Karachi on February 6, 2001, at the age of 90.