ISLAMABAD: The Indian High Commission in Islamabad is set to welcome Geetika Srivastava as its first-ever female chargé d’affaires, The News reported Monday.
Another addition to the “Female Diplomatic Club,” Srivastava’s appointment comes soon after Great Britain posted its first woman high commissioner to Pakistan.
Srivastava is expected to take up her assignment shortly after the term of the current CdA — Dr Suresh Kumar — ends and he returns to New Delhi and take up a position there.
After bilateral relations between the two neighbors took a hit in 2019, there has been no full-time high commissioner either in Islamabad or New Delhi, rather now junior diplomats are posted as chargé d’affaires.
The last Indian high commissioner, who served in Islamabad was Ajay Bisaria. He was expelled in 2019 after Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic ties over New Delhi’s unilateral and illegal move to revoke the special status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Many of the outstanding Indian high commissioners who served in Islamabad returned home to be promoted as foreign secretary.
Srivastava belongs to the 2005 batch of Indian Foreign Service, where among her previous assignments was a posting in China.
She speaks Chinese (Mandarin) fluently. Originally from Uttar Pradesh, she has also served as Regional Passport Officer in Kolkata and Director in the IOR Division of the Ministry of External Affairs.
The incoming CdA is presently a Joint Secretary in charge of the Indo-Pacific Division in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.
The Indo-Pacific Division of the Ministry of External Affairs looks after India’s multilateral diplomacy with ASEAN, IORA, FIPIC, and other entities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Diplomatic sources have confirmed that Saad Warraich, presently Director General for Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iran at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who has been nominated as Pakistan CdA to India, has recently applied for his Indian visa.
Commenting on the posting of Saad Warraich, the Foreign Office spokesperson said he would be taking up the assignment in due course of time.