‘Too many junkets at stake to make enemies’

Kesava Menon, the former Islamabad correspondent of The Hindu, reviewing ‘Anatomy of an Abduction—How the Indian Hostages in Iraq Were Freed‘ by V. Sudarshan, former diplomacy correspondent of Outlook:

“The Indian media has a relationship with the country’s diplomatic corps that is somewhat peculiar when compared with its approach to other arms of the government such as the Administrative and Police Services. There have been a few instances when the press has pounced on ill-considered remarks by officers of the Indian Foreign Service — the rumpus over Ronen Sen’s remarks at the height of the debate over the 123 Agreement being a prime example. But, by and large, journalists in this country, irrespective of their views on different aspects of foreign policy, have seldom criticised the professional performance of IFS officers. That diplomatic activity is shrouded in secrecy is only one of the reasons. A more pertinent reason is that journalists have distaste for being on the wrong side of the diplomatic corps. To put it bluntly, there are too many junkets at stake.”

Read the full review: Pawns in a global chess game

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