Geetika Srivastava to be New Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad

Geetika Srivastava, a 2005 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is appointed as the new Charge d’Affaires (CDA) in Islamabad, succeeding Dr M Suresh Kumar. Despite the downgraded status of diplomatic representation between India and Pakistan, this appointment marks a significant change as Srivastava will be the first woman to lead the Indian High Commission in Pakistan.

Currently a Joint Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, she has previously served in the Indian Embassy in China and as Director of the Indian Ocean Region division in the MEA. Her appointment comes after the withdrawal of the last Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad, Ajay Bisaria, following the downgrading of the High Commission by Pakistan in response to the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.

What does the appointment of Geetika Srivastava as the new CDA in Islamabad signify?

The appointment of Geetika Srivastava as the new CDA in Islamabad signifies a progressive step by the Indian government as it breaks the traditional male-dominated pattern of diplomatic appointments to Pakistan. This is a significant move as Srivastava will be the first woman to lead the Indian High Commission in Pakistan, reflecting a commitment to gender equality and empowering women in leadership roles.

How does the downgraded status of diplomatic representation impact the relationship between India and Pakistan?

The downgraded status of diplomatic representation indicates strained relations between India and Pakistan. The absence of High Commissioners and the highest-ranking diplomat being a CDA reflects a lack of normal diplomatic engagement. This downgrading hinders direct communication and can lead to misunderstandings, impacting the overall bilateral relationship.

What challenges might Geetika Srivastava face as the new CDA in Islamabad?

As the first woman to lead the Indian High Commission in Pakistan, Geetika Srivastava might face challenges related to the traditional gender roles and biases that exist in diplomatic circles and the host country. Additionally, given the strained relations between India and Pakistan, and the fact that Islamabad has been declared a “non-family” posting for Indian diplomats, there might be increased pressure and scrutiny on her role.

How might Geetika Srivastava’s previous experience influence her role as CDA in Islamabad?

Geetika Srivastava’s previous experience, including her service in the Indian Embassy in China and as Director of the Indian Ocean Region division in the MEA, equips her with valuable knowledge and skills in diplomacy and international relations. Her understanding of the Indo-Pacific region and experience in dealing with complex diplomatic situations will likely influence her approach and effectiveness as the CDA in Islamabad.

What impact does the appointment of a new CDA have on the diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan?

The appointment of a new CDA is an opportunity to refresh diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan. While the role of CDA is limited compared to a High Commissioner, the appointment of Geetika Srivastava, a seasoned diplomat, signals India’s commitment to maintaining diplomatic ties and could potentially pave the way for more constructive engagement in the future.

How does the abrogation of Article 370 impact the diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan?

The abrogation of Article 370 by India led to a significant deterioration in diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan, as evidenced by Pakistan’s decision to downgrade the status of the High Commission. This move reflects the deep-rooted political differences and tensions between the two countries, which continue to impact their diplomatic relations and engagement on various issues.


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