Deputy NSA Vikram Misri appointed foreign secretary; Will Babri Masjid Action Committee member Shahabuddin’s son-in-law take his place?

Sources said current foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra, who was on an extension, is likely to be appointed as the next envoy to the US.
Deputy NSA Vikram Misri appointed foreign secretary; Will Babri Masjid Action Committee member Shahabuddin’s son-in-law take his place?

New Delhi: Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) Vikram Misri, a 1989 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer who served as envoy to China when the Eastern Ladakh crisis began, has been appointed India’s next foreign secretary.

Sources said current foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra, who was on an extension, is likely to be appointed as the next envoy to the US.

A notification by the government said that Misri, who hails from Kashmir, will take over as foreign secretary on 15 July.

Misri took over as deputy NSA on 1 January 2022. This was after he had completed his tenure as India’s envoy to China from January 2019 to December 2021.

Media reports have claimed that Jawed Ashraf, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, are in the fray for the Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA) role.

The reports stated that IFS officer Jawed Ashraf might be appointed as Deputy NSA in place of Vikram Misri.

However, the rumours of Ashraf becoming Deputy NSA have created an outrage due to the various associations of Ashraf’s family.

The diplomat is married to Ghazala Shahabuddin, the daughter of Syed Shahabuddin of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, which spearheaded a public campaign and legal battle to protect the disputed structure at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya. He was an IAS officer himself and took volunteer retirement in late 1970s to join politics.

A 1991 batch IFS officer, he was earlier India’s Ambassador to Singapore and was appointed envoy to France, a key strategic ally of India, in 2020.

Ashraf has also served in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) during PM Narendra Modi’s first term, where he is supposed to have written many key speeches for the PM.

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