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Foreign Office postings, transfers on the cards


April 10, 2017

Envoy to Afghanistan Ibrar Hussain to be Special Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Sohail Mahmood to assume as high commissioner in India early next month

ISLAMABAD: Senior diplomat and Pakistan’s incumbent ambassador for Afghanistan Syed Ibrar Hussain will be Special Secretary for Foreign Affairs after relinquishing his assignment in Kabul. 

He will assume the slot vacated by Muhammad Waheedul Hasan who has been relieved on attaining superannuation last week.  Highly placed sources in the Foreign Office told The News that Pakistan’s High Commissioner for India Abdul Basit will be returning the headquarters later this month and it was likely that he would be appointed head of the Foreign Service Academy (FSA) vice Iftikhar Aziz who would be assigned an ambassadorial slot. 

Sohail Mahmood will be assuming as high commissioner in India early next month who is returning from Ankara next week for shuffle from Turkey to India.  Yet another astute diplomat and former Chief of Protocol (CP) Ghalib Iqbal would be assigned an important slot in a couple of days. 

He was country’s ambassador in France and ever-since returning from Paris last year he is on leave due to his domestic engagements.  He is known as a strategist and planner ‘diplomat’ who was granted the highest grade in the Foreign Office last year.  The new postings and transfers are likely to get nod by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif soon as he also holds the portfolio of the foreign affairs, the sources reminded. 

Danish government has accepted the appointment of Syed Zulfikar Gardezi in Copenhagen as ambassador and his agreement has been received by the government from Denmark.  He is replacing Masroor Junejo who has retired on completion of his service tenure. 

Zulfikar Gardezi is currently Additional Foreign Secretary and is looking after Asia-Pacific region.  Pakistan’s ambassador for South Korea Javed Nasarullah will be taking up responsibilities as ambassador in Afghanistan early next month. 

He is currently in Seoul and moving to Kabul as he would be first non-Pushto speaking Pakistan’s envoy for Afghanistan.  It is a major paradigm shift in thinking about Afghanistan where Pakistan always preferred to have a Pushtun or Pushtu speaking ambassador, the sources reminded.



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