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LONDON: Pakistani-born Abbas Nasir, a former head of the BBC's Urdu Service, has been appointed executive editor for the Asia and the Pacific Region at BBC World Service. The Asia and the Pacific is the largest of the five operational regions within BBC World Service.

Based at Bush House in London, Nasir is responsible for the editorial quality and content of a huge range of radio and online output, covering territory from the Khyber Pass to the Pacific, taking in all South Asia, Southeast Asia, China and Australasia.

Abbas Nasir's editorial remit includes a large number of language services on radio, three 24-hour online language sites (bbcurdu.com, bbchindi.com and bbcchinese.com) as well as the heavily used English site for South Asia.

He is responsible for BBC World Service editorial staff in overseas bureaus and for numerous broadcasting partnerships, especially with local FM radio stations. He is also the region's editorial contact of BBC World, the BBC's commercially funded international television news channel.

The 43-year-old started his career in journalism in Pakistan with the daily Dawn, in the early 1980s. He moved to the daily Muslim and later to the monthly Herald. He was the chief political correspondent with the Karachi-ased The News when he was asked to join the BBC's Urdu Service in May 1994.

Soon afterwards he became the head of the service, and in October 1999 launched its Urdu site, bbcurdu.com. The site was recently voted the world's best Urdu site by the online magazine Spider. He has also worked on the flagship English-language The World Today programme, and has been a regular contributor as an analyst on a range of BBC output.

Nasir said, "With the proliferation of the BBC's output in different media, making sure that the BBC speaks with one voice and lives up to its famous editorial guidelines in all languages is a daunting task. But it is also an imperative if the BBC is to hold its leading position in terms of authority, balance and trust."

BBC World Service broadcasts programmes around the world in 43 languages and is available on radio and online at bbcworldservice.com. It claims to have a global audience of 150 million listeners each week.

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