New Delhi: Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments in his book that Sushma Swaraj was not an important player in the Indian foreign policy team, and describing her as “goofball” and “heartland political hack” have drawn flak from External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
Reacting to Pompeo’s comments made in his book ‘Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love’, Jaishankar said, “I have seen a passage in Secretary Pompeo’s book referring to Sushma Swaraj ji. I always held her in great esteem and had an exceptionally close and warm relationship with her. I deplore the disrespectful colloquialism used for her.”
Pompeo said in his book that “on the Indian side, my original counterpart was not an important player on the Indian foreign policy team. Instead, I worked much more closely with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, a close and trusted confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
Instead, Pompeo is all praise for Jaishankar in the book.
“My second Indian counterpart was Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. In May 2019, we welcomed ‘J’ as India’s new foreign minister. I could not have asked for a better counterpart. I love this guy. English is one of the seven languages he speaks, and he is somewhat better than mine,” he wrote in the book.
Swaraj, who was External Affairs Minister during the first tenure of the NDA government, passed away in 2019.