Indian Ambassador to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami is expected to take over as Indian envoy to United Kingdom. A 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Doraiswami is a Chinese speaker who has served as Indian ambassador to Uzbekistan, South Korea and served in US as well as private secretary to Prime Minister.
Vikram Doraiswami replaces ambassador Gaitri Issar Kumar, who superannuated on June 30, 2022. The present Deputy Chief of Mission in US, Sudhakar Dalela, a 1993 batch IFS officer, is expected to replace Vikram in Dhaka.
There is speculation that Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verma will replace Ruchira Kamboj in Bhutan and Sandeep Arya will take his place in Hanoi. Kamboj has been appointed as India’s permanent representative in UN. Both Verma and Arya are 1994 batch officers.
A professional and hardworking diplomat, Doraiswami has been central to close bilateral relationship with Dhaka with the officer pushing for cementing ties with Bangladesh through infrastructure and defence cooperation. Doraiswami as Indian ambassador to South Korea was one of the key players to get KIA motors into India and joint development of K-9 155 mm self-propelled howitzer in India.
Doraiswami’s appointment as ambassador to UK comes after the Modi government went through a several month-long deep selection process which including looking at the possibility having a political appointee as envoy to London. The Indian relationship with UK is close but has number of friction points relating to London’s desire to play the erstwhile Imperial Raj angle in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
UK has often dabbled on issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir in the past due to its domestic Mirpuri Muslim vote banks. The country is also responsible for several issues related to giving shelter to Sikh radicals as well as allowing them to raise funds against India. However, India and UK are currently negotiating towards a free trade agreement with New Delhi clearly spelling out its concerns to London.
In Vikram Doraiswami, India will have an ambassador who will push for closer relationship but will also take up friction points including those related to diaspora upfront. His possible replacement, Dalela is has vast experience as Director (Prime Minister’s Office) focusing on India’s engagement with its South Asian neighbors and he was Joint Secretary handling Bhutan and Nepal when the 2017 Doklam crisis broke with China.
Source: Hindustan Times
BDST: 1645 HRS, JUL 02, 2022