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India Gandhi-PN Haksar outshined formidable Kissinger in 1971: Jairam Ramesh

India Gandhi-PN Haksar outshined formidable Kissinger in 1971: Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi: As former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger died today, the senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh recalled that in 1971 then US President Richard Nixon and Kissinger created huge headaches for India but then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her close aide PN Haksar proved "more than a match for them".

Kissinger, who dominated foreign policy as the United States extricated itself from Vietnam, died today. He was 100.

In a post on X, Ramesh said, "Henry Kissinger has passed away. He was as immensely consequential as he was hugely controversial." In his long and eventful life he has been both celebrated and condemned, Mr Ramesh noted.

"But there can be no doubt about his sheer intellectual brilliance and awesome charisma," he said.

For the last three decades, he positioned himself as a great friend and supporter of India and indeed he was, Ramesh said.

"But this was not always so and in 1971 especially, President Nixon and he created huge headaches for India and thought they had us cornered. However, Indira Gandhi and PN Haksar proved more than a match for them," the former Union minister said.

"I have described the Kissinger-Haksar and Nixon-Indira Gandhi encounters with archival detail in my book 'Intertwined Lives: PN Haksar & Indira Gandhi'," Ramesh said.

He also pointed out that Gary Bass in his book 'The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide' indicts Kissinger severely for his role in the events of 1971 leading up to the creation of Bangladesh.

PTI with edits

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