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Shiv Shankar Menon's name
for envoy to Pakistan
Josy Joseph in New Delhi | May 08, 2003 10:38 IST
India's ambassador in China Shiv Shankar Menon is the frontrunner to take over as the next high commissioner to Pakistan.
It is understood that the ministry of external affairs on Wednesday proposed Menon's name to Pakistan.
"In order to take forward the initiative of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, we have sought agreement for the appointment of our new Indian high commissioner," MEA spokesman Navtej Sarna had said on Wednesday though he did not reveal names saying it was inappropriate to do so till Pakistan concurs.
Sources said Menon, one of India's finest diplomats and a career Indian Foreign Service officer, was the prime minister's personal choice.
If Menon indeed goes to Pakistan he would be following the footsteps of his predecessor Vijay Nambiar.
The latter was told to return after the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001. At present, he is posted as India's permanent representative at the United Nations.
The other contender is Mani Tripathi, high commissioner in Bangladesh.
Before his assignment in China, Menon served as high commissioner in Sri Lanka and as India's envoy in Israel.
As per accepted norms, before naming an envoy one has to seek the approval of the host country. If the name is rejected, then another name can be suggested.In normal circumstances, this is a mere formality and the name is accepted by the host nation though there have been several occasions when names have been rejected.
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