New Delhi/Islamabad, August 28: Ms. Geetika Srivastava has replaced Dr. Suresh Kumar as India’s Chargé d’Affaires in Pakistan, making her the first foreign service officer to hold the coveted position.
Pakistan has also appointed a new Charge d’Affaires to New Delhi. At the Pakistan High Commission, Saad Warriach took over for Aizaz Khan.
Women have always played important roles in diplomacy. Over time, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of including women in diplomatic efforts and negotiations, and Geetika’s appointment to a coveted role amid calls for diverse teams may be more effective in addressing complex relations between the two sides as tensions remain high.
The appointment of India’s top diplomat follows that of the United Kingdom’s first female high commissioner to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the new Indian diplomat will take over as Suresh Kumar returns home after retiring.
The new diplomat is a member of the Indian Foreign Service, having joined around two decades ago. She has worked in China and speaks Chinese (Mandarin) fluently. She is also a Foreign Office joint secretary in charge of the Indo-Pacific Division.
Relations between Pakistan and India remain tense following 2019 skirmishes, and there have been no full-time high commissioners since Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic ties in response to the BJP government’s revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.