Dec 23, 2016

Basit among front-runners for Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary post

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Islamabad, Dec 22. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit is among the names shortlisted for the next Foreign Secretary, a key slot that will soon fall vacant as incumbent Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry has been named Ambassador to the US.

Front-runners for the position, in the list compiled by the federal government, include Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Tehmina Janjua and High Commissioner to Britain Sayed Ibne Abbas. However, it was not clear who among them will eventually be the next Foreign Secretary.

Sources quoted by Express News pointed out that Basit was the senior-most diplomat after Aizaz Chaudhry. However, seniority was not necessarily a prerequisite as it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to appoint the Foreign Secretary.

Of the three contenders, the envoy to New Delhi is considered most suitable, given his experience in dealing with delicate foreign policy issues.

His experience as envoy to India was also seen as an added advantage. However, some sources indicated that Tehmina Janjua is the hot favourite for the job. If she wins the government’s nod, Tehmina will become the first woman to hold the highest foeign policy position in Pakistan.

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