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Sohail Mahmood to Replace Abdul Basit As Pak’s Envoy to India

Sohail Mahmood has wide experience in the diplomatic service having served in various Pakistan missions abroad.

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Sohail Mahmood, one of Pakistan's senior-most diplomats, will be the country's new High Commissioner to India, diplomatic sources in Islamabad said on Monday.

Mahmood, 55, currently Pakistan's ambassador in Turkey, was granted a visa by India on Friday, sources in the Indian High Commission said.

He had applied for the visa from Turkey after being nominated for the key job in India.

Mahmood may take up his new assignment either at the end of this month or early next month, they said.

He will replace Abdul Basit, who has already completed his three-year tenure in New Delhi.

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The new envoy faces a daunting task of handling the ties with India amid strains in relationship over a range of issues, including cross-border terror attacks in India and the sentencing of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for alleged spying.

Mahmood is a career diplomat who joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1985.

His first posting abroad was in Pakistan Embassy in Ankara, where he served from 1991-1994. He is one of the senior most officers of the Pakistan Foreign Service who knows Turkish.

He has wide experience in the diplomatic service, having served in various Pakistan missions abroad including Washington, New York and Ankara.

Mahmood served as the Ambassador of Pakistan to Thailand from 2009-2013.

He holds masters degrees in History and International Relations.

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