Being appointed as the India’s new charg d’ affaires at its high commission in Islamabad, Geetika Srivastava will now lead the country’s mission in Pakistan. Since Independence, it is for the first time a woman is tasked with such a role.
Srivastava is currently serving as joint secretary at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) Indo-Pacific division. She is a 2005 batch Indian Foreign Service officer.
She will succeed Suresh Kumar who is likely to return to New Delhi.
The Indian and Pakistani high commissions in Islamabad and Delhi are being headed by their respective charge d'affaires after Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties following India's decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.
Though woman diplomats have been posted to Pakistan earlier, this is the first time one is getting posted at the highest level. With Islamabad declared a “non-family” posting for Indian diplomats, the post is considered to be hard. Just for this reason, many, especially woman, are even reluctant to take up the role.
Reportedly, there is a woman diplomat at the First Secretary level in the Indian High Commission. According to sources, Srivastava will take charge shortly.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has posted Saad Ahmad Warraich as the new CDA in New Delhi. Warraich has served in Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.
(With PTI inputs)