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J N Dixit's book flays Gujral

May 08, 2005 17:32 IST

Former prime minister and external affairs minister I K Gujral's handling of foreign affairs has come under sharp criticism in a book authored by late National Security Adviser J N Dixit.

Titled Indian Foreign Service: History and Challenges, the last works of career-diplomat Dixit was released recently by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

The book states that Gujral's approach of taking decisions on his own ignoring the Foreign Service had created a 'piquant and unique predicament'.

It says Gujral's inclination to function as his own spokesman had 'created controversial situations, with the Foreign Service being left to pick up the debris of the fallout of his (Gujral's) pronouncements'.

The book, however, describes as a 'watershed' the period between 1998 and 2003, saying during this period a 'different sense of India's image' was advocated by the then Vajpayee government.

Tracing the history of India's Foreign Service, the book by the former Foreign Secretary points out how various governments affected the functioning of the department.

The book remarks that 'comparative marginalisation' of the Foreign Service in foreign policy-making was witnessed after P V Narasimha Rao government's departure in 1996.

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