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Jilani, new Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman

By B. Muralidhar Reddy

ISLAMABAD, FEB. 27. Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan's former acting High Commissioner to India, has been appointed spokesman of the Foreign Office. He will succeed Masood Khan, who will take over as the country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations mission in Geneva.

Mr. Jilani will take charge from March 1 and a formal announcement is expected tomorrow.

Currently the Director-General South Asia in the Foreign Office, Mr. Jilani is actively involved in the India-Pakistan peace process.

Mr. Jilani made headlines in early 2003 when he was declared persona non-grata by India towards the end of 2002 charging him with giving money to an activist of the Hurriyat Conference while he was the acting High Commissioner of Pakistan.

He had served as Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner for over four years and took over as the acting High Commissioner after the two countries withdrew the High Commissioners during the diplomatic and military tension, following attack on Parliament in December 2001.

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