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Indira Gandhi was `unpredictable`: WikiLeaks

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 14:12

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was an unpredictable lady, according to latest WikiLeaks revelations from US Embassy cables.

According to a report published on Tuesday by a leading daily ‘The Hindustan Times’ on WikiLeaks expose of US diplomatic cables, Indira Gandhi’s close aide TN Kaul was also seen as an arrogant and pro-Soviet man, who was not trustworthy.

Then American envoy Daniel Patrick Moynihan described Kaul, who was handpicked by Indira as India`s ambassador to the US in 1973, as an extremely “arrogant man whose career was marked by a pro-Soviet bias and concomitant Anti-American words and deeds."

This is how the US envoy referred to Kaul, who was also a Kashmiri Brahmin like the Nehru family, in a letter to the State Department secret service on March 17, 1973.

In the cable, Moynihan accepted that he had not met Kaul personally, but had heard enough from other Western diplomats about the PM`s aide to conclude that he was "inclined towards slyness, especially in his dealings with westerners."

"This latter quality is not only Kashmiri Brahmanical arrogance, it also reflects Kaul`s propensity for misconstruing cleverness for sophistication in diplomatic dealings," Moynihan wrote, before calling Kaul "distasteful and trying." Kaul had already been Foreign Secretary under Gandhi.

According to Moynihan, one NATO ambassador on hearing about Kaul`s appointment to Washington "seized an embassy official by the lapels and suggested that the US could not possibly extend agreement to Kaul."

Moynihan quotes former US ambassador Foy Kohler as a "slick opportunist." In another cable, the former Indian ambassador to the US, GL Mehta indicated that he did not believe Kaul was the right choice for the post of ambassador to the US.

But the cables also point to the recognition among the Americans that Kaul was a direct Indira Gandhi appointee, and was a "sensitive weathervane of Indian foreign policy."

First Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 14:02
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