ISLAMABAD – Lieutenant General (retd) Bilal Akbar has been appointed as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, replacing Raja Ali Ejaz, a career diplomat, apparently to restore full-fledged ties with the kingdom.
Raja Ali Ejaz was on his first posting as an ambassador and he served in this position for nearly two years.
Both Islamabad and Riyadh now have ambassadors with a military background as incumbent Saudi envoy to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki had retired as Rear-Admiral of Royal Saudi Navy.
Before being elevated to the post of ambassador, he had been served as the defence attaché of the Saudi mission in Islamabad.
The appointment of a new envoy comes amid reports of deteriorating ties between the two Islamic countries. Akbar, according to reports, has been assigned a task to put the ties with Saudi Arabia, an old friend of Pakistan, on track.