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Cablegate: New Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan

VZCZCXRO7887
OO RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHNE #5118 3321314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281314Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9461
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7392
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5702
RHMFISS/HQ USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0146

UNCLAS NEW DELHI 005118

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR IN AF
SUBJECT: NEW INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN


1. (U) The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has
announced that Jayant Prasad, presently serving as India's
PermRep in Geneva, has been appointed as the next
Ambassador of India to Afghanistan, succeeding Rakesh Sood.

2. (SBU) COMMENT: U.S. diplomats who worked with him say
Prasad is an entrepreneur in the mold of former MEA Joint
Secretary, Americas (2003-2006) S. Jaishankar. Prasad was

SIPDIS
Joint Secretary, MEA Americas Division from 2000 to 2003 -
a crucial period that witnessed the ignition of stronger
bilateral/strategic relations between India and the United
States. His appointment to Afghanistan is a welcome boon
and an opportunity to expand U.S.-Indian cooperation in
Afghanistan. Prasad's biography follows below. END COMMENT.

-------------------------------
BEGIN JAYANT PRASAD'S BIOGRAPHY:
-------------------------------

3. (SBU) Jayant Prasad (57) served as the Joint Secretary,
Americas Division, MEA, New Delhi, from November 2000 to
February 2004 prior to his current assignment in Geneva as
Permanent Representative. Before that, he was Joint
Secretary in the Communication Vigilance (CNV) Division, an

SIPDIS
office responsible for employee oversight for one year.
Prasad served as Ambassador to Algiers from 1995 to 1998
after serving as a Counselor in India's EEC Mission in
Belgium (1992-1995). He also served as Staff Officer for
the Foreign Secretary; First Secretary at the Permanent
Mission of India to the UN in Geneva; and as Deputy
Secretary in the United Nations Division of the MEA from

SIPDIS
1988 to 1991. In his present capacity, he is also a Member
of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament
Matters.

4. (SBU) Prasad was born in New Delhi. His father, Bimal
Prasad, was a senior professor at the Center for Diplomatic
Studies in the capital's Jawaharlal Nehru University and
served as India's Ambassador to Nepal from 1991 to 1994.
Educated at the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New Delhi, Ambassador Prasad, like his father,
taught modern Indian history for two years at New Delhi's
prestigious St. Stephen's College before joining the Indian
Foreign Service in 1976.

5. (SBU) Prasad was a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for
International Affairs at Harvard (1998-99), where he worked
on a research project to study new parameters of India's
foreign policy and to delineate India's strategic and
technological environment through the year 2010. Sub-themes
of this intellectual exercise included non-military threats
to India's security and the implications of nuclear weapons
tests for India's disarmament policy. Prasad also served
as a rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights in
Geneva from 1986 to 87. Prasad speaks English, Hindi, Urdu
and Punjabi.

6. (SBU) Jayant Prasad is married to Bhupinder Prasad, an
Indian Administrative Service officer of the 1976 batch,
who has held a number of responsibilities in the New Delhi
government such as Private Secretary to the Lieutenant
Governor of New Delhi. She has been posted for the past
three years in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and has
direct knowledge of these islands, including their
aboriginal tribes.

MULFORD

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