Sohail steps into Tehmina Janjua’s shoes today (Tuesday)

ISLAMABAD:    Foreign Secretary-designate Sohail Mahmood will assume the office tomorrow (Tuesday) evening replacing Ms Tehmina Janjua who will be retiring the same day.
Janjua will be completing 35 years of her association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sohail Mahmood, who reached Islamabad by road from India, was high commissioner in New Delhi. He relinquished the charge on Saturday.
After his new assignment, Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah has become the acting high commissioner of Pakistan.
He is taking over as foreign secretary at a time when the country is facing daunting challenges on the external front. Threats from India are on the top where general elections are in the process and the polls’ outcome will have direct bearing on its ties with Pakistan.
Situation in Afghanistan is yet another challenge where Pakistan’s role will be even more critical for the future of this land-locked country and its relations with Pakistan.
Sohail Mahmood will accompany Prime Minster Imran Khan in his significant visits to China and before that he will also be with him during the Iran visit next Sunday.
Both the neighbouring countries have exclusive relationship with Pakistan and a lot of international “intricacies” are involved in their ties with Pakistan.
He is a former student of Quaid-e-Azam University from where he did his master’s in history. Later he did his master’s in international affairs (MIA) from the Columbia University of New York.
He joined the Foreign Service in 1985 and has also done National Security and War Course (NSWC 2012-13) from the National Defense University (NDU) Islamabad. He has also served on the South Asia Desk of the Foreign Office and Director Iran and Turkey later.
Later he served as DG Americas and Foreign Secretary Office before becoming Additional Foreign Secretary for Afghanistan and West Asia in 2013.
Sohail Mahmood served twice in Turkey first as second secretary and later as Pakistan’s ambassador before posting to India as the high commissioner.
He worked in Pakistan’s embassies in Washington and Pakistan’s permanent mission in the United Nations in different times. He worked in the UN (Political Coordinator for Pakistan’s delegation to UN Security Council in 2003-2004). He was ambassador to Thailand and Permanent Representative to UNESCAP, Bangkok (2009-13).

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