July 22, 2017 3:41:32 am
PAKISTAN HIGH Commissioner to India Abdul Basit is set to be replaced soon with Islamabad’s Turkey envoy Sohail Mahmood expected to come to Delhi next month. The Indian Express had first reported that Mahmood is likely to be the next Pakistan’s envoy on February 17. Sohail Mahmood, a career diplomat, joined Pakistan’s foreign service in 1985.
Mahmood’s first posting abroad was in Ankara, where he served in the Pakistan embassy from 1991-1994. Since then, he has served in various Pakistan missions abroad, including Washington and New York. He was Pakistan’s ambassador to Thailand in 2009-2013.
Before assuming his position in Ankara as envoy, Mahmood was additional secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, where he served as Director-General (2005-2009), Director (1995-1998) and Section Officer (1986-1991). He is one of the seniormost officers in Pakistan’s foreign service. Born in 1962, Mahmood holds postgraduate degrees in history and international relations.
While Mahmood hasn’t served in India before, that has hardly been a criterion for selecting Pakistan’s envoy to India. Neither Basit nor his predecessors, Salman Bashir and Shahid Malik, had served in India before being posted as the High Commissioner.
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