02 August, 2021

Position On A Minaret

Ahmed Javed’s appointment as india’s envoy to Riyadh follows a beaten track. It’s time for a maturer policy.

Amit Haralkar
Position On A Minaret

Appeasing religious minorit­ies—Muslims in particular—is a charge the BJP and its Hindutva affiliates have often hur­­led at the Congress. But when it comes to appointing an amb­assador for Saudi Arabia, the Narendra Modi government seems to have fallen back on the same policy as its Congress predecessor: choosing its envoy from a ‘Muslim-only’ pool.

Political appointments to key Indian mis­sions have rarely gone down well with South Block bureaucrats. On occ­asion, when such appointments have involved for­­mer diplomats or someone of stature, like a well-known academic, the protests have been muted. But when can­didates have been selected solely on political considerations, the murmurs among Indian diplomats have grown louder.

The recent appointment of former Mumbai police commissioner Ahmed Javed as India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, at a time when the region is going through political churning, has created disquiet among large sections in Delhi’s foreign policy...

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