ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit is set to become the country's new foreign secretary, media reports said here today. The Nawaz Sharif government has "in principle" decided to appoint Basit as the country's new foreign secretary, replacing Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry who has been designated as Pakistan's ambassador to the US, The News reported.
Prime Minister Sharif, who is also retaining the portfolio of the Foreign Affairs, has concluded consultations for appointing new administrative head of the Foreign Office, the daily said. It is likely that the announcement pertaining to the appointment of Basit would be made next week, the report said. 58-year-old Basit is the senior most among the contenders for the top post.
Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations Geneva headquarters Tehmina Janjua, Pakistan's former Chief of Protocol and Ambassador to France Ghalib Iqbal, 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.
Basit, who has varied experience of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, was selected for the job three years back also but could not be appointed due to technical reasons and instead posted as High Commissioner in New Delhi. He was previously serving as ambassador to Germany. Pakistan will take the decision about new High Commissioner in India after Basit's return, the daily said.