ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has taken premature retirement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ARY News reported.
The veteran diplomat had submitted an application to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his early retirement which has been approved with effect from August 1.
Basit was set to retire from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in April 2018.He is being replaced by Sohail Mahmood, who is currently serving as Ambassador to Turkey.
Although there is no reason provided for Basit’s retirement, it is widely known that he was displeased about the appointment of junior officer Tehmina Janjua as the foreign secretary.
Basit along with several other senior officers including Ghalib Iqbal and Abrar Hussain were sidelined for the coveted post. He has refused to serve under a junior officer and has ultimately decided to take early retirement.
Abdul Basit joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1982 and has held several diplomatic assignments at several Pakistani missions abroad.
Prior to his appointment as the High Commissioner to India in 2014, Basit had served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany from May 2012 till March 2014. During his career, he has been posted at Moscow, New York, Sanaa, Geneva and London.