Diplomacy: Indian ambassador to Bhutan Gautam Bambawale has been transferred to Pakistan as High Commissioner, according to reports in the Indian media.

Ambassador Gautam Bambawale will be taking over as High Commissioner to Pakistan from January, 2016.

There were no reports in the Indian media or any official statement on the Indian Ministry of External Affairs of who the next ambassador to Bhutan will be.

Gautam Bambawale is India’s 16th ambassador to Bhutan. He began his tenure from August 2014 which means he will have served in Bhutan for 16 months. He replaced former Ambassador VP Haran, who served here for 18 months.

Indian media reports say that Ambassador Gautam Bambawale’s appointment to Pakistan is significant as he is a “China expert” and will be taking over one of India’s most sensitive diplomatic positions.

The same reference was made when the ambassador was assigned to Bhutan in 2014.

Gautam Bambawale joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1984.

The ambassador who is fluent in Mandarin, served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991. He later also functioned as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian embassy in Beijing.

He has also served as the Consul General of India in Guangzhou, China from 2007 to 2009. He was the first Consul General of India in Guangzhou.

The ambassador, also fluent in German, was the Director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Berlin, Germany between 1994-98.

In between these stints, the ambassador was the first desk officer for China in the external affairs ministry and then as director in the Americas division, responsible for the USA and Canada.

He has also served as the Staff Officer to the Foreign Secretary of India from 2001-2002 and as Deputy Chief for the national security affairs, defence, and international policy division of the Prime Minister’s Office.

From 2004-2007, he was the Political Minister and head of the political wing at the Indian embassy in Washington DC, USA.

He was also the Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the external affairs ministry from 2009-2014.

Gyalsten K Dorji