New Delhi gives new name to interim head of Indian mission in Islamabad

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India has sent Pakistan a new name for the post of Acting Head of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The proposed name is that of the former Director, Pakistan – Suresh at the Ministry of External Affairs and will be the Deputy Commissioner of India and Chargé d’Affaires General at the Mission.

While no decision has yet been taken by Pakistan on whether to accept the name, WION has learned that few issues will arise this time around.

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Pakistan had refused a visa to Jayant Khobragade, a senior Indian diplomat whose name was proposed by New Delhi in June. Pakistan rejected Khobragade’s name because they said it was too old for the post.

Khobragade who served in Russia, Kazakhstan, Spain and Pakistan was India’s envoy to the Kyrgyz Republic between 2013 and 2017.

As a protocol, countries send names of envoys and diplomats, it will designate the country of appointment. Usually little problem arises and the nominating country accepts the name without too much time.

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The Indian Mission in Pakistan and the Pakistani Mission in Delhi are headed by Deputy High Commissioners. Ties between the two countries deteriorated last year after New Delhi removed the special status of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir and branched off into two union territories — UT de Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh.

Pakistan, in response, expelled the then Indian envoy to Islamabad, while refusing to send his newly appointed envoy to New Delhi. With the spy scandal earlier this year involving Pakistani diplomats, New Delhi has announced the reduction of Pakistani high commission staff by 50% and its staffing in Islamabad by half.

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