NEW DELHI: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ‘Islamic State’ terrorist group’s first self-proclaimed Caliph, has died in a U.S. Special Forces Operation in Idlib, Syria. The group has named a successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, after confirming that spokesperson Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir was also killed in a separate American operation. In our ‘Mission Possible’ series we look back at Indian diplomats and their role in past crises worldwide through their own eyes.
Anil Wadhwa, Secretary(East) in the Ministry of External Affairs during two hostage situations India had to deal with in Iraq in 2014, speaks to Associate Editor Amitabh P Revi. This was the year when 7,200 Indians were evacuated from Iraq. Wadhwa talks about the 46 Indian nurses taken hostage by Daesh, who were ultimately freed, 39 construction workers, who were finally declared killed in 2018 and the evacuation of over 7000 others.
Anil Wadhwa was in the Indian Foreign Service from July 1979 till May 2017. As Secretary(East) he oversaw relations with ASEAN, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, the GCC and West Asia. He has been Ambassador of India to Italy & San Marino, Thailand, Oman and Poland & Lithuania and has served in Hong Kong, Beijing ( twice) , the permanent mission of India in Geneva and worked on deputation with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Wadhwa has also been head of the East Europe division and looked after relations with Russia and eastern European countries.