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Happy to be returning home with India-Pak ties in positive mode:T C A Raghavan

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Wagah, Dec.31 : India’s outgoing High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr. T C A Raghavan, on Thursday said he was leaving Islamabad in a very happy and satisfied state of mind, and returning home confident that bilateral relations between India and Pakistan are now moving in a positive direction.

Interacting with media at the Wagah-Attari border checkpost, Dr. Raghavan said, “”I am very happy that I am leaving at the end of my tenure when the atmosphere has transformed dramatically after the visit of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lahore.”

He also said that the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Islamabad earlier this month had helped bring a thaw in relations.

“I am very happy that I am returning on such a good atmosphere,” he said.

Replying yet another question as to whether he had wished relations between two nations had normalised during his tenure, Raghavan said he had spent nearly seven years in two tenures in Pakistan. He said everything didn’t happen in a single tenure, but he was happy that he was leaving Pakistan on a very positive note.

About the core contentious issues between two nations, he said, “I do believe it is important for both countries to look ahead and move forward and not go over the same pattern which we had done in past.”

“The wisdom of our political leadership is that they find a way ahead to move forward and I am very hopeful,” he added.

India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan J P Singh and other senior officials of Indian High commission bid farewell to Raghavan at the Wagah-Attari border.

“I have received a great deal of affection from my colleagues and others with whom I worked in Pakistan and I wish them all the very best in their lives,” he said.

He was given guard of honour by the Border Security Force (BSF) at the checkpost.

Raghavan had taken over from Sharat Sabharwal in June 2013. He had earlier served as India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad.

Gautam Bambawale, currently India’s envoy to Bhutan, will replace him. (ANI)