Fri, 30 Nov 2012 16:15:00 GMT | By IANS

Former prime minister I.K. Gujral passes away

Gujral was being treated for lung infection at a hospital in Gurgaon since November 19


Former prime minister I.K. Gujral passes away (© Reuters)

New Delhi: Former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral passed away Friday, his family said. He was 92.

"He passed away at 3.27 p.m.," a family source told IANS.

Gujral was admitted to a Gurgaon hospital with a lung infection Nov 19 and was on ventilator.

Inder Kumar Gujral was India's prime minister for a brief 11 months in 1997-98. But the mild-mannered, soft-spoken politician, whose personality flew against the political archetype, will be remembered primarily for his keen interest in protecting and promoting India's external interests and the eponymous Gujral Doctrine - his mantra for India's neighbourhood policy when he was external affairs minister twice in a decade.

The quintessential Congress member who later left the party to join the Janata Dal after differences with former prime minister Indira Gandhi over her autocratic ways, Gujral died, at the age of 93, as quietly and gracefully as he had exited the political stage two decades ago.

In a way reflective of the man, who came to Delhi from Pakistan in the traumatic post-partition period, the Gujral Doctrine advocated magnamity towards small neighbours in the interest of regional peace and progress.

"The logic behind the Gujral Doctrine was that since we had to face two hostile neighbours in the north and the west, we had to be at 'total peace' with all other immediate neighbours in order to contain Pakistan's and China's influence in the region," said Gujral in his autobiography "Matters of Discretion".

(Continued)
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