Pakistan has dropped plans to send Syed Ibne Abbas as the new High Commissioner to India and replaced him with career diplomat Abdul Basit, a top Pakistani official said today.
The 55-year-old Basit was earlier tipped to take over as Foreign Secretary but the government changed its mind last week.
"Yes, Ibne Abbas is not being (sent) to India. Basit will be the new High Commissioner to India," an official told PTI.
The official made it clear that a formal notification about Basit's appointment is yet to be issued.
Asked why Abbas was changed, the official said, "Basit is quite senior and Abbas was quite junior for India."
Basit will take over at a time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is pushing for better ties with India. Pakistan has sought the resumption of dialogue to resolve all issues.
He earlier served as Director General and Foreign Office spokesman during 2008-09 and as Additional Secretary and spokesman during 2009-12.
Abbas, a career diplomat who earlier served as Counsellor (political) at the Pakistani mission in New Delhi, is likely to replace Basit as envoy to Germany. He also served as Director of Kashmir Affairs in the Foreign Ministry and Director General of the South Asia division.
The News daily reported today that High Commissioner Salman Bashir has been asked to continue in New Delhi for the time being as Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is visiting India this week.
Sharif has been invited by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to a kabbadi match in Ludhiana on December 13. He may also visit New Delhi the same day, the report quoted sources as saying.
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