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Monday June 17, 2024

Reshuffle in Foreign Office

Raza Bashir Tarrar, Moeenul Haq and Dr Asad Majeed Khan are being considered for the office of Foreign Secretary

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
August 22, 2021
Pakistan Foreign Office.
Pakistan Foreign Office. 

ISLAMABAD: As part of major reshuffle in the Foreign Office, Pakistan’s former high commissioner to Canada Raza Bashir Tarrar has been appointed as the Special Foreign Secretary and designated to work at the Foreign Minister Office.

He is in Grade 22 and has been assigned to improve the working of the Foreign Minister's Office further. It is for the first time in recent history of the Foreign Office that one of the senior most officers has been placed for such a staff duty.

Yet another talented officer of the Foreign Service, Hasan Afzal Khan, who was looking after the assignment of the Chief of Protocol in the absence of a regular posting, has been appointed Counsel General (CG) in Dubai. He has replaced Ahmed Amjad Ali, who will be given an important assignment at the headquarters. Well-placed sources told The News here on Saturday, that Pakistan’s Ambassador to Cuba, Sahebzada Ahmed Khan has been made the country’s ambassador to Thailand and Asim Iftikhar Ahmad has been promoted as Additional Foreign Secretary and posted spokesman at the Islamabad headquarters. He was earlier tipped as Ambassador to Paris but that couldn’t materialise.

Sahibzada Ahmed Khan served as the Chief of Protocol and the country’s high commissioner for the United Kingdom before moving to Havana. He is an astute diplomat. Shujaat Hussain Rathor has been named as ambassador to Spain while Khurram Rathor has assumed the post of the high commissioner, Canada, in Ottawa.

Additional Foreign Secretary and spokesman MOFA, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhari has been made high commissioner to Australia and would replace Babar Amin, who will be assuming charge as the ambassador to Norway. Ali Haider Altaf has been appointed Director General Protocol vice Hasan Afzal Khan. Meanwhile, names of three candidates Special Secretary Raza Bashir Tarrar, Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Moeenul Haq and Ambassador to the United States Dr Asad Majeed Khan are being discussed in the relevant quarters for the top slot of secretary, Foreign Office, sources said. The vacancy will fall vacant after incumbent Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, will complete his three-year term early next year, the sources added.