December 5, 2023

Geetika Srivastava will probably be India’s subsequent cost d’affaires at its Excessive Fee in Islamabad, being the primary girl to be appointed to the place.

A cost d’affaires is a diplomat who momentarily leads a mission of diplomacy out of the country in lieu of the Ambassador or Excessive Commissioner, albeit the place carries a number of obligations.

Excessive Commissions are the time period used for diplomatic missions involving Commonwealth nations, whereas Embassies are used for operations between non-Commonwealth nations.

Picture Credit score: Outlook India

Lady In Energy: Geetika Srivastava 

She goes to switch Dr. M. Suresh Kumar, who has been serving as joint secretary on the Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA) and is about to return to New Delhi.

She goes to be the primary particular person to ever lead the Indian mission, additionally acknowledged by a number of Pakistani media retailers. She was described as a further member of the “Feminine Diplomatic Membership” provided that the UK simply despatched its first feminine consultant to Pakistan. This choice marks a primary for Indian diplomacy, which has historically solely ever had male ambassadors serving in its posts.

The federal government has chosen a girl IFS official to move its Excessive Fee in Pakistan, regardless of the 2 international locations presently having a diminished standing of diplomatic illustration in one another’s capitals. Starting in August 2019, the Indian and Pakistani operations in Islamabad and New Delhi have operated sans excessive commissioners; as a substitute, they’re one another’s cost d’affaires. Earlier than Pakistan lowered the standing of the Excessive Fee on account of the repeal of Article 370, which scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s particular standing, Ajay Bisaria served as the ultimate Indian Excessive Commissioner to Islamabad.

Moreover, there have been a complete of twenty-two heads of the diplomatic mission since 1947, when the departed Sri Prakasa assumed management as India’s Excessive Commissioner in Pakistan.

Geetika’s Earlier Positions

Ms Srivastava, an Indian International Service (IFS) officer since 2005, will maintain the place because the very first girl.

For the time being, Srivastava is the Joint Secretary of MEA’s Indo-Pacific desk, which manages India’s multilateral diplomacy with ASEAN, IORA, in addition to further organisations.

From 2007 to 2009, she labored on the Indian Excessive Fee in China as a Mandarin speaker who had studied the language as a component of her international language schooling. Initially from Uttar Pradesh, she additionally held positions on the Regional Passport Workplace in Kolkata and the Exterior Affairs Ministry’s Directorate for the Indian Ocean Area.

Setting The Benchmark

Girls from India have been as soon as employed as diplomats in Pakistan, however not often in roles of management like this. Together with the difficulties related to world diplomatic endeavours, significantly between two nations which were at odds since 1947, the place of Excessive Commissioner in Pakistan additionally presents its personal peculiar set of difficulties.

A lot of years in the past, Islamabad got here to be generally known as a “non-family” posting for Indian diplomats. This restriction prevents feminine officers from making use of for the place.

A brand new CDA has additionally been appointed by Pakistan in New Delhi. Salman Sharif was changed by profession diplomat Saad Ahmad Warraich, who had labored at Pakistan’s Everlasting Mission to the UN in New York after he departed India a couple of weeks prior and headed to Islamabad.

For the time being, the Indian Excessive Fee has employed a girl diplomat within the publish of First Secretary. Srivastava is anticipated to start her work in Islamabad quickly, in response to one of many folks with information of the scenario.