The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has appointed Geetika Srivastava as India's new charge d'affaires at its High Commission in Islamabad,Pakistan. She will be the first woman to hold the post in Islamabad.
The 2005 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Geetika Srivastava is presently serving as joint secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs and she will succeed Dr M Suresh Kumar .
A charge d'affaires is a diplomat who temporarily heads a diplomatic mission in a foreign country in the absence of the Ambassador or High Commissioner.
The Indian and Pakistani missions in Islamabad and New Delhi have been without High Commissioners since August 2019 and are being headed by their respective charge d'affaires.
After the abrogation of Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir by the government of India,Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic relations between the two countries . Both the countries recalled their respective High Commissioner and since 2019 there has been no High Commissioner of India in Pakistan. Ajay Bisaria was the last Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.
After Independence,Sri Prakasa was appointed as the first High Commissioner of India to Pakistan. Since then 22 people have been appointed as the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.Ms Srivastava, a 2005 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer will become the first woman in the role.
Few women diplomats have been posted in Pakistan as it is considered a tough assignment for a woman . Also the MEA has designated a non family posting for Indian diplomats .
An ambassador is the highest-ranking representative of a country in another foreign country with which it has diplomatic relations. The main job of the ambassador is to protect the national interest of its own country and its citizens in the foreign country where he/she has been posted .
Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 an ambassador has the highest diplomatic status . The ambassador has control of a specific territory in the foreign country which is called an embassy or High Commissions. The embassy or High commission is outside the legal jurisdiction of the host country. It means the rules and regulations of the host country do not apply to the Embassy and its staff which has been given diplomatic status.
Diplomatic missions between Commonwealth countries are called High Commissions, while those between non-Commonwealth countries are called Embassies.
Commonwealth countries are those countries which were once ruled by Britain and now after Independence are members of an international organisation called Commonwealth.
At present the commonwealth has 56 member countries.
The ambassador of a commonwealth country in another commonwealth country is called the High Commissioner. The embassy is called the High Commission.
Foreign Minister of India : S.Jaishankar