Amid the ongoing tension with Islamabad, India on Wednesday named Ajay Bisaria, currently its ambassador to Poland, as next High Commissioner to Pakistan.
The External Affairs Ministry said Bisaria, an IFS officer of the 1987 batch, would take up his new assignment shortly. He replaces Gautam Bambawale, who was recently appointed as the Ambassador to China.
Bisaria served as private secretary and aide to then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee from 1999 to 2004 and in that capacity handled a range of defence, economic and foreign policy issues. Fluent in Russian, Bisaria headed the Eurasia division from 2009 to 2014. He helped articulate an ambitious policy vision for India in Central Asia and coordinated India’s approach to six annual Indo-Russian summits.
Bisaria also worked on India’s policy for multilateral entities like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral dialogue. He has also served at the World Bank in Washington as Adviser to the Executive Director for South Asia (2004-2008), where he worked on development projects and aid issues, gaining substantial experience in corporate governance and multilateral economic diplomacy.
Pakistan also has a new High Commissioner in Sohail Mahmood in India who had recently presented his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind.
The appointment of Bisaria comes at a time when relations between India and Pakistan are at their lowest ebb in the wake of Islmabad’s continued support to cross-border terrorism and the row over the Pakistan military court’s ruling awarding death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav on fictitious charges.