Dr. Suresh Kumar has officially become the new Charge d’Affaires-designate at the High Commission of India. He is expected to take up his assignment in Islamabad shortly.

Suresh Kumar has previously served on the Pakistan desk of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Gaurav Ahluwalia, presently Charge d’Affaires at the High Commission of India, will be leaving soon for his next assignment as Ambassador of India to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.

As per protocol, countries send names of the envoys and diplomats it will appoint to the country of the appointment, which are usually accepted without objection. However, strained India-Pakistan ties complicate the matter.

Earlier, the Indian side had sent the name of Jayant Khobragade, whose name was earlier proposed by New Delhi in June. Islamabad had rejected Khobragade’s name, giving the rationale that he was too senior for the post. Khobragade had served in Russia, Kazakhstan, Spain, Pakistan and was also India’s envoy to Kyrgyz Republic between 2013 to 2017.

The Indian mission in Pakistan and the Pakistani mission in Delhi are headed by Deputy High Commissioners. Ties between the two countries had deteriorated last year after India’s unilateral move to remove the special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan in reaction had expelled the then Indian Envoy to Islamabad, Pakistan had also refused to send its newly appointed envoy to New Delhi.

Anas Mallick is an international journalist who has been working as a field reporter for 7+ years now. With a focus on diplomacy, militancy, and conflict, Mallick's expertise involve Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. He tweets at @AnasMallick

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