Coming soon: Race for 40 new envoys
It can rarely get bigger than this. In next four months, India will appoint 40 new envoys in different countries. With the stage is getting ready, many senior diplomats are doing their bit to get postings of their choices.
By June, at least 12 vacancies of Indian ambassadors and high commissioners in Japan, Maldives, Argentina, Congo, Sudan, Japan, Sweden Mexico, Trinidad, Tobago and Malaysia
should be filled on account of retirements alone. Among those, who will retire,
include India’s envoy to Japan Aloke Prasad.
While that is mostly about retirement, a few others are trying for post-retirement postings. As many as 12 ambassadors, who will complete their three-year stint soon, are looking for greener and better pastures.
The countries where the terms of Indian envoys will come to an end include Israel, Bhutan, Egypt, Nigeria, Cuba and Syria.
Indian ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna is set to come back as additional secretary (international organsations). Indian ambassador to Bhutan Pavan Varma, also needs to be placed in an appropriate position.
Syria continues to be a dividing issue in the international diplomacy, where India is throwing its weight behind the Arab League for finding a lasting solution to the unrest. Egypt remains is one of the most vital countries for India in Africa. So, the envoys to these two countries are important.
The hunt will also begin for the post of Indian high commissioner to Pakistan. Though Sharat Sabharwal’s term ends only in September, several names have been doing the rounds as his successor. The choice could be among Arun K Singh, deputy chief of mission at Indian embassy in Washington; Yash Sinha, joint secretary in the MEA’s Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran division and TCA Raghavan, the high commissioner to Singapore.
Some officials feel their fortune may be changed, if Pakistan sends ex-secretary Salman Bashir to succeed Shahid Malik who is demitting office of high commissioner to India. “Bashir’s posting can be interpreted as a statement of intent,” said a senior official.
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