Former PM I.K. Gujral passed away

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Indra Kumar Gujral, former Pime Minister of India, passed away. He was 92.

  • I.K.Gujral (December 4,1919 – November 30, 2012)
  • Born in Punjab, in British India.
  • Participated in India’s struggle for freedom.
  • Left the Indian National Congress party in the mid-1980s and joined the Janata Dal.
  • Became the 12th Prime Minister of India from April 1997 to March 1998.
  • Second PM to govern exclusively from the Rajya Sabha, first being his immediate predecessor H.D. Deve Gowda.
  • Key contributor to India’s foreign policies.
  • Gave a set of five principles famously known as Gujral Doctrine to guide the conduct of foreign relations with India’s immediate neighbors.

5 Principles of “Gujral Doctrine

 

  1. With neighbors like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, India does not ask for reciprocity, but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust.
  2. No South Asian country should allow its territory to be used against the interest of another country of the region.
  3. No country should interfere in the internal affairs of another.
  4. All South Asian countries must respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  5. They should settle all their disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations.

According to Gujral, these 5 principles, conscientiously adhered to, would achieve a fundamental remodeling of South Asia’s regional relationships, including the strenuous Indo-Pak relationship. Further, the implementation of these principles would generate a climate of close and mutually benign cooperation in the region, where the weight and size of India is regarded positively and as an asset by these nations.

However, his doctrine invited severe criticism following a series of Pakistan-sponsored terrorist incidents throughout the 2000s, culminating with the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

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