ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Faint Echoes

Faint Echoes Nireekshak FLEETING echoes of the golden age of Indian diplomacy were heard more than once in the past fortnight. "Kaul to Visit Hanoi to Pave Way for Substantive Talks in Paris on Vietnam" said a three-column, three-line heading on the front page of Hindu on the 14th. According to its Delhi correspondent, G K Reddy, Foreign Secretary T N Kaul had been invited by North Vietnam to explore how best India could help "in finding an equitable basis for substantive discussions at the Paris peace talks for an early settlement of the Vietnam conflict'', further, the report informed readers, "though India is not directly involved in the Paris peace talks, it has nevertheless been playing a helpful role behind the scenes in bridging the gulf between the American and the North Vietnamese positions on some of the more fundamental preliminaries to the actual negotiations". Reddy buttressed this impressive claim on behalf of the External Atfairs Ministry with references to the Indian Consul-General in Hanoi functioning as a "channel for communication of private clarifications between the two sides pat Paris]'*, to "recent diplomatic exchanges" between India and North Vietnam, to the US Secretary of State's anxiety, expressed during his recent visit to New Delhi, that India should use its good offices to communicate to Hanoi certain clarifications of President Nixon's eight-point plan and, finally, to Indira Gandhi's discussions with Kosygin when he came to India for Zakir Husain's funeral.

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