Ex-Corps commander Bilal Akbar appointed Pakistan’s new envoy to Saudi Arabia
ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed Lt-Gen (retd) Bilal Akbar as Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, removing Raja Ali Ejaz, a career diplomat.
The outgoing Ejaz, who was on his first ambassadorial posting, had been given the assignment around two years ago.
The latest change has brought Islamabad at par with Riyadh in one term that now both countries have envoys with military background in each other’s capitals.
The Saudi ambassador in Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki was from the Royal Saudi Navy and retired as Rear Admiral. He had been appointed as the defence attaché of Saudi mission in Islamabad and later elevated as the ambassador here four years ago.
The sudden shuffling by Pakistan is being seen as significant amid reportedly weakening bilateral ties at a time when India’s relationship with the Kingdom is improving.
Amid the present scenario, key task of General Bilal Akbar, who retired as Chairman Pakistan Ordnance Factories, would be saving the ties from further deterioration.
The former three-star rank Lieutenant-General also served as Commander 10 Core Rawalpindi, Chief of General Staff (CGS) GHQ, Director General Pakistan Rangers (DG PR) Sindh, and GOC 11 Infantry Division, Lahore.
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