Ibne Abbas to be new Pakistani envoy to India

 Veteran Pakistani diplomats Syed Ibne Abbas and Jalil Abbas Jilani would be the new Pakistani envoys to India and the US respectively as part of a wide- ranging reshuffle of envoys in key capitals around the world.

Abbas would be replacing current High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir, official sources here said.

"Bashir was reemployed after retirement. So the new government is appointing a new envoy," an official source in the government here told PTI.

Abbas is a career diplomat and had earlier served as Counsellor (political) at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. He had also served as the Director of the Kashmir Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here and was the Director General of the South Asia division.

His appointment comes at a time when tensions along the LoC have increased.

Bashir was appointed as the High Commissioner to India by the previous PPP-led government after his retirement as the Foreign Secretary.

The change was expected with the new Nawaz Sharif government taking over.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sharif had met last month and stressed on the need for bringing down tensions at the LoC.

Sharif has on numerous occasions said he wants better ties with India and resolution of all outstanding issues in a peaceful manner.

Meanwhile, sources said Foreign Secretary Jilani will be the new ambassador to the US ahead Sharif's visit to Washington this month. He will be replaced by Abdul Basit, currently Ambassador to Germany, they added.

Jilani, a career diplomat, has served as Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union and also did a stint in New Delhi as Deputy High Commissioner.

The post has been lying vacant since former envoy Sherry Rehman, a senior leader of the Pakistan People's Party, resigned in May following her party's defeat in the general election.
Sharif visited the US last month for the UN General Assembly and is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama on October 23.

The two leaders are expected to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern, including countering violent extremism, the White House had said.

Many Pakistani analysts have spoken about the urgent need for appointing an envoy to the US.

Jilani has specialised in South Asian affairs and served as Director India during 1992-1995, Deputy High Commissioner to New Delhi during 1999-2003 and Director General for South Asia and SAARC during 2003-07.

Pakistan's envoy to Afghanistan, Mohammad Sadiq, will be posted as the head of the Secretariat of the Cabinet Committee on National Security. Sadiq will be replaced in Kabul by Syed Abrar Hussain, currently Pakistan's Ambassador to Kuwait.

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