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LAHORE: New Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale crossed the Wagah border on Tuesday to take charge of his office three days before the scheduled talks between foreign secretaries of the two countries.

Briefly talking to journalists, he said he would play the role of a bridge and work to improve Pakistan-India relations.

Before his departure from New Delhi, Mr Bambawale was quoted by the Indian media as saying that he would try to strengthen relations between the two countries.

“…We want to strengthen the relationship between India and Pakistan and that will be my effort while I am posted there.”

He said he had been asked to reach Pakistan at the earliest.

“So, I am going to cross over and reach there.”

Replying to a question about the foreign secretary-level talks, he said the two governments were in touch with each other and “we will have to wait and see what will be the next step”.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2016