Pakistan appoints Sohail Mahmood as new Foreign Secretary

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has appointed senior diplomat Sohail Mahmood as Foreign Secretary replacing the present Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua who would be retired on April 16. Sohail Mahmood is presently serving as the high commissioner in New Delhi.

According to Foreign Ministry’s sources, one of the reasons of his promotion is his present portfolio as he has availed a lot of experience while working on this top diplomatic post in New Delhi. “His experience of Indian affairs will help Pakistan Government in dealing with Indian Governments, the sources said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed this issue in detail with especial reference of present tense Pak-India relationship at the PM House on Saturday (30th March) and the following day (on Sunday), Qureshi announced this appointment.

Sohail Mahmood briefed Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi following the Pulwama attack and help in normalising the hostile situation. He was especially called to Islamabad for this purpose. Shah Mahmood Qureshi has informed him and congratulated him over his new assignment.

Faisal Mahmood is a seasoned diplomat and has garnered a reputation for integrity ─ had previously served in various countries including Washington, New York, and had even been the Pakistani envoy to Thailand and Turkey.

Mahmood has received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Government College in Rawalpindi, a Master of Arts in History from Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York.

He joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in October 1985. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mofa), Mahmood served ─ among other positions ─ as Additional Secretary for Afghanistan/West Asia as well as Director General for the Americas and the Foreign Secretary’s Office.

His foreign assignments for Pakistan include the role of ambassador to Thailand and Turkey. He has also remained counsellor to Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations and a political counsellor to the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.