Pak en­voy heads to China, Pol­ish en­voy to go to Pak

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Sachin.Parashar @times­

New Delhi: In­dia’s high com­mis­sioner to Pak­istan Gau­tam Bam­bawale has been ap­pointed the am­bas­sador to China and In­dia’s am­bas­sador to Poland Ajay Bis­aria will be In­dia’s en­voy to Pak­istan, top South Block sources told TOI Satur­day night. The reshuf­fle was ne­ces­si­tated bythe ap­point­ment of In­dia’s am­bas­sador to China Vi­jay Gokhale as sec­re­tary (eco­nomic re­la­tions) in the MEA. Gokhale played the lead role in de­fus­ing the Dok­lam cri­sis with Bei­jing and is now be­ing tipped as In­dia’s next for­eign sec­re­tary in case the gov­ern­ment doesn’t give another ex­ten­sion to S Jais­hankar in Jan­uary.

Bam­bawale and Bis­aria are widely ac­knowl­edged as MEA’s best and both have in the past han­dled sev­eral sen­si­tive post­ings. A 1984 batch IFS of­fi­cer, Bam­bawale has served as joint sec­re­tary of East Asia di­vi­sion where he han­dled both China and Ja­pan. He, in fact, was one of the long­est serv­ing joint sec­re­taries there with his ten­ure last­ing from 2009 to 2014.

There are few who know China bet­ter than him as he has also served as In­dia’s DCM in Bei­jing. His un­der­stand­ing of the re­gion is also ex­pected to help In­dia deal with the North Korea sit­u­a­tion more ef­fec­tively. Bam­bawale has also served as In­dia’s am­bas­sador to Bhutan and is well-versed with the sit­u­a­tion at Bhutan’s Dok­lam which is claimed by China. As a young IFS of­fi­cer, Bam­bawale opted to learn man­darin Chi­nese and also served in Bei­jing and Hong Kong from 1985 to 1991.

A 1987 batch IFS of­fi­cer, Bis­aria has also had an im­pec­ca­ble ca­reer as a diplo­mat and is con­sid­ered an ex­pert on Rus­sia and cen­tral Asia. Ad­dress­ing Rus­sia’s nascent strate­gic prox­im­ity to Pak­istan will no doubt be an im­por­tant fo­cus area for him. A savvy diplo­mat, Bis­aria is also con­sid­ered one of MEA’s most pre­sentable faces.

In one of his most sig­nif­i­cant ca­reer as­sign­ments, Bis­aria served as pri­vate sec­re­tary and aide to then PM A B Va­j­payee from 1999 to 2004 and in that ca­pac­ity han­dled a range of de­fence, eco­nomic and for­eign pol­icy is­sues.

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