ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Secretary, Salman Bashir saw out his last day of his 36 years of service on Saturday, retiring after a long and distinguished track record. His replacement, Jalil Abbas Jilani, has already arrived in Islamabad to take over charge.
Jilani returns from his assignment Brussels as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium.
The newly appointed Foreign Secretary was born on February 2, 1955 in Multan. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Law and an M. Sc. in Defence and Strategic Studies. After joining the Foreign Service of Pakistan in March 1979, he served at the Headquarters as Section Officer (1981-1982) and Director (1992-1995). He has also served as Foreign Office Spokesman.
Jilani has also served at a number of prominent positions in the Government during his long career, including as the Deputy Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat (1989-1992), served at the Foreign Office Headquarters as Director General (South Asia & SAARC) from 2003-2007 as well as acting as the government’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs (2005).
He has held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistani missions abroad including; Jeddah (1983-1985), London (1985-1988), Washington (1995-1999), New Delhi (1999-2003) and Australia (2007-2009).
The Secretary has full command over French, English, Arabic, Urdu, Seraiki, Punjabi and Pushto languages.
Jilani belongs to a distinguished family of Multan and his father, Makhdoom Azhar Hussain Jilani remained a Public Commission Service officer while his elder brother Asghar Hussain Jilani was the chief secretary of Punjab.
His grandfather, Ramzan Shah Jilani was the DIG Police. He also served as the political secretary to Pakistan’s first elected Prime Minister, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy.
One of Jilani’s maternal uncle, Salim Abbas Jilani, was the secretary defence while another one, Aitzazuddin Ahmed Jilani, was a former chairman of the FBR and secretary communications.
Senior Judge of the Supreme Court Tassadduq Hussain Jilani, is his maternal uncle while joint secretary National Assembly Secretariat, Shahid Abbas Jilani is also an uncle of his.