Saturday, Aug 13, 2022
Outlook.com
Review

Picture, Broken In Time

Khan draws his account around the larger picture, Parthasarthy's attention on personalities could offend big egos.

Picture, Broken In Time
Prshant Panjiar
Picture, Broken In Time
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

But with our prime minister intent on pursuing his "last effort" at peace with Islamabad, there is space for books that examine in a scholarly way the issues that divide India and Pakistan and offer possible compromises. This thin book, however, largely has personal reminiscences about the tenures of a Pakistani and Indian ambassador who held office in different eras. Humayun Khan became ambassador to India in 1984 when the US, employing the ISI as a conduit, was funnelling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms to anti-Soviet Afghan guerrillas. G. Parthasarthy, in contrast, was posted to Islamabad after Vajpayee came to power.

This clearly is a publisher’s book where the authors were chosen to fit the theme. But unable to find two envoys who served in the same period to write how they handled the same events, the publisher settled for what he had. So we have Parthasarthy describing his experiences during the Lahore summit, Kargil and the IC-814 hijacking, and Khan recounting the Punjab crisis, Indira Gandhi’s assassination, Operation Brass Tacks and the Zia-Rajiv accord not to attack each other’s nuclear facilities.

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