ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister’s office is considering giving an extension to incumbent foreign secretary Sohail Mehmood, keeping in view his hard work in mobilizing the international organisations and world community for helping Pakistan in recent floods.

Highly credible sources told The Nation that the final decision on his possible extension would be taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. PM Shehbaz Sharif would consult Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and special assistant to the PM Tariq Fatimi on whether to give extension or not.

Sources said that under the rules, only three months extension could be given to a federal secretary, with the approval from the prime minister and from the federal cabinet. They said that Sohail Mehmood lobbied for the Ambassador position in Turkey after retirement, however, he could not make it. Incumbent foreign secretary Sohail Mehmood will be retiring from foreign service on September 29, 2022. He would also travel with the Prime Minister to the United States to attend the UNGA session from September 20 to 23.

Sources said in case he is dropped from being given extension, Sohail Mehmood would be offered a four years contract to head Institute of Strategic studies Islamabad, which works under the Foreign Ministry. Four years term of Azad Chaudhry as the current director general of ISSI is being expired next month. Meanwhile, sources in the foreign office told The Nation that Ambassador Johar Saleem would be returning to Islamabad after completing his tenure in Italy as Ambassador. He is likely to head the Foreign Service Academy in islamabad which is a BPS-22 grade job.

 

In Rome, he is being replaced by Additional Secretary Africa in the foreign office Ali Javed, who is expected to proceed by the end of next month.