By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has named ambassador to France, Moeen ul Haq, as the next high commissioner to India at a time when the ties between the two nuclear armed South Asian neighbours have touched the lowest ebb in the history.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Qureshi named Haq and others, including five women and two former generals, to key missions, including China and Singapore.
“After consulting the Prime Minister (Imran Khan), I am happy to announce following appointments. I wish the newly appointed officers good luck & hope they represent Pakistan with utmost dignity and effectiveness,” Qureshi said in his Twitter post.
According to English newspaper, Daily Dawn, the appointment of career diplomat Moeen-ul-Haq as high commissioner in New Delhi was described by Qureshi as “an important posting” with the election process in India almost complete and the possibility of “new engagement” between Islamabad and New Delhi being speculated about.
The post of the high commissioner in New Delhi had fallen vacant in April after then high commissioner Sohail Mehmood was appointed Pakistan’s foreign secretary.
Naghmana Hashmi, currently Pakistan’s ambassador in Brussels, has been appointed ambassador in Beijing, the ‘Dawn’ report said. Retired Major Generals Abdul Aziz Tariq and Mohammad Khalid Rao were appointed as ambassadors to Brunei and Bosnia Herzegovina respectively.
The appointment of Haq as high commissioner to India comes at a time when exit polls have predicted a win for the incumbent Narendra Modi-led government. The news of the appointment coincided with the visit of Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Bishkek for a meeting of foreign ministers of the egional Shangahi Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Tuesday and Wednesday. At the meeting, foreign ministers of Pakistan and India are expected to come face to face. India and Pakistan became full fledged members of the SCO in 2017.