The Foreign Office on Wednesday announced that Sohail Mahmood has assumed the charge of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India in New Delhi.

Mahmood, who joined foreign service in 1985, was earlier deputed in Turkey as Ambassador of Pakistan. He replaced Abdul Basit, a career diplomat, after his premature retirement earlier this month.

According to a report published in The Indian Express, Mahmood was set to replace Basit as the envoy in April amid the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan at that time.

While Mahmood hasn’t served in India before, it has hardly been a criterion for selecting Pakistan’s envoy to India — neither Basit nor his predecessors, Salman Bashir and Shahid Malik, served in India prior to being posted as the high commissioner there.

Before assuming his position at Ankara, Mahmood was Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, where he earlier served as Director General (2005-2009), Director (1995-1998) and Section Officer (1986-1991). He was born in 1962 and has done Masters in History and International Relations.

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