Delhi names Pak, US envoys
A week after Islamabad replied to the Indian dossier on the Mumbai terrorist attacks, New Delhi has decided to appoint Sharat Sabharwal as the next high commissioner to Pakistan.delhi Updated: Feb 20, 2009 00:23 IST
A week after Islamabad replied to the Indian dossier on the Mumbai terrorist attacks, New Delhi has decided to appoint Sharat Sabharwal as the next high commissioner to Pakistan.
The government also named the country’s next ambassador to the United States. Present incumbent Ronen Sen’s term ends on March 31. Meera Shankar, India’s ambassador to Ger-many, will take charge in Washington, a South Block source said.
Sabharwal’s appointment brings to an end days of speculation during which the government weighed various options, including keeping the high commissioner’s post vacant as a sign of protest against Islamabad dilly dallying on the Mumbai attacks case. Present incumbent Satyabrata Pal retires at the end of this month.
The government had toyed with the option of giving extensions to both Pal and Sen or allowing their deputies to step in till the time the new government is sworn in. Elections are due in a few weeks but the new government is expected to take charge by mid-May or the first week of June.
Special Secretary Sharat Sabharwal is a 1975 batch IFS officers and served as deputy high commissioner in Pakistan from 1995 to 1999. He has also served in Geneva, Paris and Tashkent. Meera Shankar, a 1973 batch IFS officer, was posted in Washington from 1991 to 1995 and also served in Bonn and Hamburg. She retires in October 2010. Shankar was also with the Prime Minister’s Office during Rajiv Gandhi’s term.
Meanwhile, Pal will take over as member, Human Rights Commission, after retirement.