Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to appoint Pakistan’s next ambassador to Beijing this week following the expiry of the contract of incumbent Ambassador Masood Khalid on December 31. Masood Khalid has been working as Pakistan’s ambassador since April 22, 2013. He had been granted extension twice after his retirement. His second extension would expire later this month and he could not be granted another extension, a diplomatic source in the Foreign Office told Daily Times. The Foreign Office had already forwarded names of two senior diplomats – Naghmana Hashmi and Mozam Ahmed Khan – serving as Pakistan’s ambassador to Belgium and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), respectively to the prime minister. Both ambassadors have rich experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy during their career spanning over 30 years. Ambassador Masood Khalid had played a vital role in materialising the concept of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and bringing the Pakistan-China relations to new heights. Both Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi and Mozam Ahmed Khan have been recently promoted to BPS-22 by the central selection board headed by the premier. Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi had already served in Beijing at the Pakistan’s Embassy as counsellor in 2006, therefore, she is a strong candidate for the position. If appointed she would be having the distinction of being the first female ambassador of Pakistan to China. Published in Daily Times, December 4th 2018.