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Pak high commissioner reaches India

June 30, 2003 12:20 IST

Pakistan's high commissioner Aziz Ahmed Khan on Monday crossed over to India from the Wagah border check post to take up his new assignment in New Delhi.

Accompanied by wife Ayasha, Khan will travel by road to New Delhi where he is expected to reach in the evening.

Career diplomat Khan, who previously served in the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi as deputy high commissioner, will take charge on Tuesday.

Indian high commissioner-designate and current ambassador to China Shiv Shankar Menon is expected to reach Islamabad in the third week of next month.

Khan's arrival marks the restoration of diplomatic ties at the highest level, which were disrupted after the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001.

He succeeds Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, who was recalled by Islamabad at the instance of New Delhi on the ground of parity. India had recalled its then high commissioner Vijay Nambiar in the last week of December 2001 following the Parliament attack.

After crossing over to the Indian side, Khan told reporters that his priority would be to speed up the process of normalisation of relations between the two countries by resolving all issues through dialogue and negotiations.

Asked about resumption of talks between the two countries, he said, "I hope this will start very soon. Whichever level the talks start, we will welcome them. We are ready and we have been saying this for long time. I think this has been repeated at the highest level."

"We are happy that the process has started. We hope that this process gain momentum and we are able to resolve all our problems like good neighbours," the former spokesman of Pakistan foreign ministry added.

About the resumption of bus service between the two countries, Khan said that a team from his country had already visited India to finalise the modalities. "I hope it will start very soon," he said.

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