“Geetika Srivastava Makes History as First Woman to Lead Indian Mission in Pakistan”

Geetika Srivastava Becomes First Woman to Lead Indian Mission in Pakistan

Geetika Srivastava is set to make history as she becomes the first woman to lead an Indian mission in Pakistan. Currently serving as a joint secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Srivastava will take on the role of India’s new charge d’affaires at its High Commission in Islamabad. She will succeed Dr M Suresh Kumar, who is expected to return to New Delhi.

A charge d’affaires holds a significant diplomatic position, temporarily overseeing a diplomatic mission in a foreign country when the Ambassador or High Commissioner is absent. This pivotal role involves numerous responsibilities, ensuring the continuity of diplomatic relations.

Diplomatic missions between Commonwealth countries are termed High Commissions, while those between non-Commonwealth nations are referred to as Embassies. The Indian and Pakistani missions in Islamabad and New Delhi have been without High Commissioners since August 2019, with their respective charge d’affaires leading operations.

The appointment of Geetika Srivastava marks a historic milestone in Indian diplomatic history. Since 1947, when Sri Prakasa assumed the role of India’s High Commissioner in Pakistan, there have been 22 heads of mission. As a 2005 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Srivastava brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She previously served at the Indian High Commission in China from 2007 to 2009, along with postings at the Regional Passport Office in Kolkata and as Director of the Indian Ocean Region division in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Although women diplomats from India have previously served in Pakistan, this marks the first instance of a woman holding a top position such as this. The role of a High Commissioner in Pakistan is particularly demanding due to the intricacies of international diplomacy, especially between countries that have maintained a complex relationship since 1947.

It’s noteworthy that Islamabad was classified as a “non-family” posting for Indian diplomats some years ago, a factor that has limited women officers from taking on such roles. Despite these challenges, Srivastava’s appointment stands as a testament to the growing role of women in shaping India’s foreign relations on a global stage.

Sources By Agencies

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