Pak appoints Moin-ul-Haq as India’s new envoy to ‘restart process of engagement’

Pak appoints Moin-ul-Haq as India’s new envoy to ‘restart process of engagement’

Career diplomat Moin-ul-Haq has been appointed as Pakistan's new  High Commissioner to India to start a new process of engagement with the country where a new government will be formed soon, amid strained relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday approved appointments ofover two dozen ambassadors in various countries including India, China andJapan.

Haq, in his mid-fifties is the current ambassador to France.He has previously served as chief of protocol at the Foreign Office. He joinedForeign Service of Pakistan in 1987 and was posted in countries like Turkey, Canadaand Sri Lanka.

The post of High Commissioner to India fell vacant afterSohail Mehmood was appointed Pakistan's new foreign secretary in April. Thedecision came after a detailed meeting with Prime Minister Khan, who formallyapproved the new appointments, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in avideo message on Monday night.

Qureshi said, "New Delhi, India, is veryimportant…After consultation I have decided to appoint Moin-ul-Haq, the currentambassador in France, who will be sent to Delhi, and I hope that he (Haq) willdeliver."

Qureshi said that Indian elections were coming to an end andit was possible that after the elections a new process of engagement couldstart. The results of India's general election would be announced on May 23.

The relationship between the two neighbouring nationscurrently is at all-time low after a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)suicide bomber attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 that killed 40soldiers.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, the PAF retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an IAF pilot, who was later released and handed over to India on March 1. PTI

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