Will retire, to settle down in Delaware.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell has resigned from her position as Americaâ€™s lead diplomatic officer in India, just one week after speculation arose that Powell would be moved out of her current posting in order to mend ties with India and its apparent Prime Minister to-be, Narendra Modi.
“US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell announced in a US Mission Town Hall meeting on March 31 that she has submitted her resignation to President Barack Obama and, as planned for some time, will retire to her home in Delaware before the end of May,â€ said the website for the US Embassy in New Delhi.
The brief statement, not more than one paragraph, served a terse, abrupt end to a diplomatic career whose days were already numbered.
Reports surfaced early last week that Powell would be sacrificed as a chess piece in the diplomatic game between the US and India, which has been on choppy waters for the better part of a year now. With Indiaâ€™s elections coming up in about a month, and BJP candidate Modi looking increasingly likely to become the countryâ€™s new leader, the US was apparently looking to oust the divisive Powell as a move to appease Indiaâ€™s new government.
Whispers abounded that Modi was not overly fond of the US Ambassador, despite the two meeting in his home state just last month to ease any tensions that may have existed. Apart from allegations that Powell was leading the charge to repeatedly deny Modi a visa to enter the US, it was also said that Powell dragged her feet in meeting with Modi, delaying the sit-down as much as possible before reluctantly agreeing.
Now, Powell â€“ who has served as the US Ambassador to countries like Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan, and Nepal, and as part of the diplomatic envoy to Canada, Togo, and Bangladesh â€“ will wrap up her career in India, although questions persist as to whether this is truly her own choice or a result of pressure from Washington.
â€œAmbassador Powell expressed her appreciation for the professionalism and dedication of the U.S. Mission to India team who have worked to expand the parameters of the U.S.-India bilateral relationship,â€ said the rest of the statement on the US Embassyâ€™s website.Â â€œShe also thanked those throughout India who have extended traditional warm Indian hospitality to her and who have supported stronger bilateral ties.â€