Salman Bashir likely to be Pakistan`s next envoy to India

Last Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 15:27

Islamabad: Pakistan may appoint Foreign
Secretary Salman Bashir as its next High Commissioner to India
to replace current incumbent Shahid Malik, whose term is set
to end in June.

The government had considered the possibilities of
posting Bashir as Pakistan`s permanent representative to the
UN, the Ambassador to the US or the High Commissioner to
India, sources in the Foreign Office said.

However, with President Asif Ali Zardari reluctant to
replace Hussain Haqqani as the envoy in Washington and with
Hussain Haroon reviewing his call to be replaced as the
permanent representative to the UN, the government had come
round to the possibility of sending Bashir to New Delhi, the
sources said.

A final decision in this regard in yet to be made by
the government, the sources said.

High Commissioner Shahid Malik is on a contract
following his retirement and his tenure will end in June.

Bashir is likely to be posted to India only after the
upcoming meeting of the Foreign Secretaries in Bhutan next
month and expected meeting of the Foreign Ministers in March,
the sources said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is considering a new
assignment for Bashir as he is set to complete his three-year
tenure as Foreign Secretary.

Gilani recently acknowledged to reporters that various
options were being considered in this regard, the sources
said.

Pakistan`s ambassador to Germany Shahid Kamal is
considered a front-runner for the post of Foreign Secretary.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 15:27

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