By the Way

Envoy woes

img_nov15_35More unsavoury details creeping out from South Block. Remember the case of Ravi Thapar, a 1983-batch IFS officer who was High Commissioner to New Zealand until June but was unceremoniously shunted out on an alleged complaint by his domestic help? Well, it seems to be a bad time for our diplomats. Atleast 27 of them posted overseas are facing charges related to corruption, harassment and dereliction of duty over the past year. The government is also having to deal with domestic matters. What is unclear is whether these are genuine cases or stemming from politics within the External Affairs Ministry aimed at grabbing plum postings. Thapar apparently made a representation to the Secretary, External Affairs, S Jaishanker, stating that the team which was sent to New Zealand to investigate the issue never bothered to listen to him but just told him to pack up and return to India. It was an embarrassing situation for a serving diplomat as nobody was ready to listen to him in the Ministry. Finally, after he managed to meet the Minister, she listened to him patiently at her home and then bailed him out. Thapar has been rehabilitated and posted as Additional Secretary, Counter-Terrorism. The post of High Commissioner to New Zealand is still vacant. The top officials of the Ministry wanted to send one of their blue-eyed diplomats but Madam Sushma is smarter than them and is not clearing the file.

VOL. 9, ISSUE 8 | NOV, 2015

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