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Personal triumph for Khurshid

delhi Updated: Oct 29, 2012 00:18 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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It was in January 1993, Salman Khurshid, came to South Block as a minister of state for external affairs and the Indian foreign policy was at the thores of a change dictated by the end of cold war.

Almost twenty years later, when Khurshid steps in as the external affairs minister a set of complex challenges confront the country's foreign policy, and some of them are of immense interest to him.

For Khurshid, 59, younger to his predecessor SM Krishna by 21 years, and the youngest member in the cabinet committee on security (CCS), this is also a moment of personal triumph - a vote of confidence from the leadership when allegations of corruption are flung at him.

Salman Khurshid is among the prominent Muslim leaders of the Congress party from the electorally-significant state of UP.

Khurshid, who assumed office on Sunday said "world has changed a lot since I was last in MEA. Dramatic changes have taken place and foreign affairs have shifted greatly towards economic and security issues… Our international profile has changed, engagement with word has changed many dimensions."

Those who worked with him in the MEA say, the minister has a special interest in the neighbourhood, central Asia and West Asia. The crucial changes happening in these regions are vital to the country's foreign policy scheme of things.

Asked if his appointment despite the controversy over charges of financial bungling by a trust run by him and his wife was a clear indication of the confidence the party has in him, Khurshid said "it is for others to judge". "One cannot surrender before those who just make allegations", he said.