Geetika Srivastava Becomes First Woman Diplomat to Lead Indian Mission in Pakistan

Geetika Srivastava will be India’s new chargé d’affaires at its high commission in Islamabad, Pakistan. Geetika Srivastava will succeed Suresh Kumar who is returning to New Delhi soon.

According to news agency PTI, Srivastava was serving as joint secretary at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Srivastava was serving as a joint secretary in the MEA’s Indo-Pacific division and is a 2005 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer.

She will take up her assignment in Islamabad shortly, the news agency said citing people familiar with the developments.

The respective high commissions in Islamabad and New Delhi are now being led by the respective nation’s charge d’affaires after Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties following India’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.

Srivastava was also posted at the Indian Embassy in Beijing, China from 2007 to 2009. She has also served as the director of the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Kolkata.

She also served at the Indian Ocean Region Division in the MEA as well. Sri Prakasa in 1947 was the first Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.

This is the first time India is posting a female diplomat to represent India in Islamabad, Pakistan. India has always been represented by male diplomats. The last Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad was Ajay Bisaria who was recalled after Islamabad downgraded ties.

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Islamabad was declared a “non-family” posting for Indian diplomats a few years ago and is considered a “hardship” posting. This limits women from taking up the assignment in Pakistan.

Pakistan recently posed a new charge d’affaires in New Delhi. Saad Ahmad Warraich, who earlier served in Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, succeeded Salman Sharif who left India in July.