The Pakistan government has in principle decided to appoint Abdul Basit, the country’s envoy to India, as the new Foreign Secretary, Geo News reported.
In another major appointment, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary has been designated to become the country’s envoy to the United States.
This was decided during consultations headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, for appointing the new chief of the Foreign Office.
The announcement regarding the appointment of Basit is likely to be made next week.
Basit is currently Pakistan’s High Commissioner in India and the senior most among the contenders of the slot. He was selected for the job three years back but couldn’t be appointed due to technical reasons and was instead posted as High Commissioner in New Delhi. He was previously serving as ambassador to Germany.
Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Geneva headquarters Tehmina Janjua, Pakistan’s former Chief of Protocol and Ambassador to France Ghalib Iqbal, the country’s ambassador for Denmark Masroor Junejo and Pakistan’s High Commissioner for United Kingdom Syed Ibne Hasan were the other contenders for the post, Geo quoted sources as saying.
Pakistan’s ambassador for the United States Syed Jalil Abbas Jailani has relinquished the charge on completion of his contractual period as ambassador in Washington. Rizwan Saeed Sheikh will be acting as Charge D’ Affairs in Washington till the arrival of Aizaz Chaudhary in the US capital.
It is likely that formal assent for Chaudhary’s appointment by the host administration would be received in the meanwhile.
The sources said that the Donald Trump administration has stalled issuance of all pending agreement of various countries including Pakistan.
Aizaz Chauduary has planned to leave for the United States immediately after the ECO summit to be held in the first week of next month, the sources added.
Pakistan will take a decision about the new high commissioner in India after the return of Abdul Basit, the sources said.