Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has sought early retirement and his request has been accepted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a media report said today. Basit, who was set to retire from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in April 2018, had “submitted an application to Prime Minister Sharif for his early retirement which was accepted,” Geo News reported, citing sources. The channel did not give any reason for Basit’s premature retirement but foreign office sources earlier told PTI that he was unhappy over the appointment of current foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua, who is junior to Basit.
Basit joined the Foreign Service in 1982 and held several diplomatic assignments at Pakistani missions abroad. Prior to his appointment as the High Commissioner to India in 2014, Basit had served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany from May 2012 till March 2014. Basit has already completed his three-year tenure in New Delhi.
Sohail Mahmood, the new designated High Commissioner to India, is expected to take up his responsibilities next month, the channel reported. Mahmood, 55, currently Pakistan’s envoy in Turkey, is a career diplomat who joined the Foreign Service in 1985.