The Prime Minister Dr.
Manmohan Singh has condoled the passing away of former Prime Minister
Shri. I.K. Gujral.
The text of the Prime Minister`s message is as follows:
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of former Prime
Minister Shri I.K. Gujral. In his passing, the country has lost an
intellectual, a scholar-statesman and a gentleman politician whose
liberal and humanist vision was rooted in the teachings of the leaders
of our freedom movement. I personally have lost a friend of long
standing, whose wisdom, idealism and deep concern for social equity left
a great impression on me and whose counsel and opinion I often sought
and valued greatly.
Shri Gujral was a man of peace, an idealist who lived by his principles
and an intellectual with the human touch. His long and distinguished
career was marked by diverse political and diplomatic responsibilities.
No matter what portfolio he held, what shone through always was his
sincerity and warmth, compassion for his fellow human beings and the
legacy of strongly held socialist beliefs from his youthful experiences.
These qualities of head and heart enabled him to make his mark in every
office he held. He was a diplomat who helped to consolidate India’s ties
with Russia and the non-aligned world. As Minister for External Affairs,
he restored India-Bangladesh relations with the Ganga Waters Agreement,
rebuilt the structure of dialogue with Pakistan and initiated the
negotiations on the historic India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. His
vision of a prosperous South Asia at peace with itself constitutes a
As Prime Minister, he set an example of grace under pressure, of
composure in difficult circumstances and of steadfastness to principles.
As a largely coalition-based polity adjusted to rapid political and
social change, Shri Gujral provided a steady hand at the helm.
We will feel his loss in India, where his long years of public service,
starting with political activism and underground activity in the Punjab
in his student days culminated in the highest executive office in the
land. He will also be missed in South Asia, where his determined quest
for a future of peace, friendship and cooperation was epitomized by the
eponymous Gujral Doctrine, which is still invoked by men of goodwill in
the subcontinent. And he will be missed around the world by the many
friends he won through his political and diplomatic activism, his sharp
intellect and his warm character. The best tribute to him would be to
rededicate ourselves to the principles by which he lived his life.
On behalf of the Government of India and on my own personal behalf, I
extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Shri Gujral
and pray that they be granted the strength and fortitude to face this
loss with resolve."