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Pakistan likely to get first female foreign secretary

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to appoint Tehmina Janjua as the new foreign secretary in February. If appointed, she will be the country’s first woman to hold the post.

On seniority basis, Masroor A Junejo should replace Aizaz Chaudhry as the foreign secretary, but his chances are bleak, reports the Daily Times.

The post will fall vacant after Chaudhry will move to the U.S. as ambassador next month. Envoy to the U.S. Jalil Abbas Jilani’s term expires in February.

In the seniority list of Foreign Service of Pakistan (FSP) Masroor Junejo is the senior-most. He is followed by High Commissioner (HC) to India Abdul Basit, HC to the UK Syed Ibn-e-Abbas and former envoy to France Ghalib Iqbal.

According to sources, till now Permanent Representative to the United Nation (UN) Tehmina Janjua has been tipped and considered favourite for the foreign secretary’s slot. The government is not considering Basit’s name as he is more close to the military establishment.

The government is facing criticism from the opposition and retired diplomats for not appointing a full-time foreign minister. Currently, the Foreign Office is being run by Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi. (ANI)