Amid the deterioration in the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan, New Delhi is set to get a new envoy from Islamabad. Sohail Mahmood is all set to succeed Abdul Basit as the next Pakistani High Commissioner to India. Here is all you need to know about the next envoy to India:
A career diplomat
Born in 1962, Mahmood joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1985. His first posting abroad was in Turkey's capital of Ankara between 1991 and 1994. He has also served as Pakistan's Ambasador to Thailand between 2009 and 2013.
A Turkey expert
Mahmood is currently Pakistan's Ambassador to Turkey — a country he was first posted to as a diplomat. Additionally, he is concurrently accredited to the partially-recognised Kosovo. According to the Pakistani foreign ministry, he is known for his fluency in the Turkish language
Served in non-ambassadorial roles
Before taking over as the Pakistan's envoy to Ankara, Mahmood served as an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad. He has previously served as the Director General (2005-2009), Director (1995-1998) and Section Officer (1986-1991) in the foreign ministry.
No background in handling India ties
Unlike many of his predecessors, Mahmood has played no direct role in shaping Pakistan's India policy. According to The Times of India, a foreign ministry official said that Mahmood arrives in India without any 'baggage'.
What's next for Basit?
Being one of the senior-most diplomat's in Pakistan, he was expecting to be the next Foreign Secretary of Pakistan. However, he was superseded by Tehmina Janjua, who became the country's first woman foreign secretary. Basit is now expected to be the head of Pakistan's Foreign Service Academy (FSA).