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Pakistan HC Abdul Basit seeks early retirement as tension grows

Pakistan HC Abdul Basit seeks early retirement as tension grows

Sohail Mahmood may replace him as new High Commissioner to India

Pakistan High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit has decided to take retirement from his post, in a sudden announcement.

Abdul Basit has sent his resignation letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The official sources confirmed that Prime Minister has accepted his resignation letter.

Abdul Basit who is currently serving as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India since 2014 and resides in New Delhi.

Before Indian High Commission, Basit posted for diplomatic assignments in Pakistan’s embassy Germany from 2012 to March 2014.

Abdul Basit holds a master’s degree in International Relations and joined Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1982 and has held several diplomatic assignments at Pakistani Missions abroad including Geneva, Sanaa’a, New York, Moscow and London.

Pakistan is likely to appoint career diplomat Sohail Mahmood as its new High Commissioner to India in place of Abdul Basit, sources said.

The appointment of Sohail Mahmood to India will be announced once it is formally approved by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has also the additional charge of foreign minister.

Mr Mahmood is currently posted as Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey and is expected to arrive in Islamabad next week.

Abdul Basit has almost completed his three-year tenure in New Delhi and is expected to be appointed as head of Foreign Service Academy (FSA) in Islamabad.

Mr Basit had earlier threatened to resign after he was overlooked and his junior Tehmina Janjua was appointed as Foreign Secretary. Initially, it was expected that Mr Basit might go on a long leave after he was called back from New Delhi but now he is expected to join as chief of FSA.

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