New Delhi: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Monday that Pakistan has decided to send its 1987 batch foreign service officer, Moin ul Haque, as the High Commissioner to New Delhi.
The announcement was made via a video clip almost a month after former high commissioner Sohail Mahmood went back to Islamabad to take charge as Pakistan's foreign secretary.
Haque, 56, presently serves as Pakistan's ambassador to France, additionally handling Monaco and UNESCO since 2017.
He has served as Pakistan's consul general in Vancouver (Canada), deputy head of mission in Ankara (Turkey) and chief of protocol from 2013 to 2015. He has also served in the US and Sri Lanka.
His biodata says he did a five-month Senior Management course from the School of Public Policy, Lahore in 2007 and a five-month National Security course from National Defence University in 2015-2016.
While making the announcement, Qureshi said that elections in India are over and he hopes that there can be a renewed engagement with India.
After the Pulwama terror attack in February, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed, India's consistent demand has been immediate, verifiable and irreversible action against the perpetrators of the dastardly terror attack from Pakistan.
After the listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC 1267 sanctions committee, Pakistan has ostensibly taken some steps to implement the listing requirements — like freezing of assets and imposing travel ban. However, going by past experiences, India would be in no hurry to initiate fresh engagements as suggested by Qureshi.
On February 27, while defending Pakistan's use of what India said "its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side," Moin ul Haque told France 24 that it was an act of "self-defence." He described India's counter terror measure to target JeM's Balakot training camp on February 26 as an "unfortunate act of aggression."
He added that the best way to resolve the situation is through talks and peaceful dialogue with the help of international mediation. India has rejected any third party involvement in talks between the two neighbours over Kashmir.
Meanwhile, another former high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, criticised the manner in which Qureshi made the announcement, saying Haque's name had not yet been shared with the host country, and India and the foreign minister should have waited to make the announcement till New Delhi had agreed to accept him as Pakistan's representative.