Islamabad, Sep 2: The Pakistan government has appointed its Permanent Representative to the UN Mission in Geneva, Masood Khan as the new envoy to China. Masood's name was nominated by the country's Foreign Office after the new PPP government reversed an earlier decision to appoint Akram as ambassador in Beijing. A Foreign Office summary has already been cleared by Prime Minister Gilani and it now awaits the President's signature, reported The News. The PM cleared Khan's nomination for China, who is currently in Pakistan for consultations. The China post had fallen vacant after the appointment of former ambassador Salman Bashir as Pakistan's new foreign secretary in April 2008, added the paper.
Khan, a top diplomat, has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy, security and disarmament and is highly respected in the international diplomatic community. He is well versed in the Chinese language and is seen by his colleagues as a 'strong candidate' for the key diplomatic post. His first posting abroad was also in Beijing where he served as Third Secretary. He has also served at Pakistan's diplomatic missions in New York, Washington and Holland.
Prior to his appointment as the Permanent Representative in March 2005, Masood served as Director-General of UN Division at the Foreign Ministry. During this period, he also had additional charge of the Foreign Office spokesperson. Generally, this post has been assigned to only additional secretary-level officials.
Zamir Akram, considered one of the outstanding Pakistani diplomats, has already once served in Geneva. His last ambassadorial assignment was in Nepal.