ISLAMABAD  - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has approved appointment of Sahibzada Ahmed Khan as the new Pakistan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, officials said yesterday.

Sahibzada Khan will replace Syed Ibne Abbas as he has completed his term.  Abbas was to relinquish the charge in October last year but the government asked him to continue until a replacement was finalised. He will formally retire from the foreign ministry in December this year.

Officials at the foreign ministry said the PM had signed the summary for the appointment of the new High Commissioner in the UK. Sahibzada Ahmed Khan is presently serving as the chief protocol officer at the Foreign Office. He is expected to take charge of the new assignment within a month.

Syed Ibne Abbas was among the top candidates for the coveted post of the Foreign Secretary last year but he and Abdul Basit were ignored in favour of Tehmina Janjua. Basit later sought early retirement after completing his term as Pakistan High Commissioner to India.  He had assumed the charge of the current assignment on October 4, October, 2014. Prior to this, he served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad, as the Additional Foreign Secretary Abbas also served as the High Commissioner for Pakistan to New Zealand 2010-2013.

He was the Consul General of Pakistan at Los Angeles, California (US) from 2006-2010.

At the Headquarters in Islamabad, he served as the Director General South Asia and South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation. He also served as the Deputy Secretary Prime Minister's Secretariat.

Abbas also held various diplomatic assignments - New Delhi (2001-2004), Canberra (1998-2001), Geneva (1992-1994) and Berne (1989-1992) - at the Pakistan Missions abroad.

He represented Pakistan and led delegations on several occasions on bilateral and multilateral fora. He attended the 1997 and 2006 UN General Assembly sessions as a Pakistan delegate.

Abbas represented Pakistan at the Conference on Disarmament and attended meetings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and Organization of Islamic Cooperation.