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Jaswant was opposed to compromise with hijackers

india Updated: Jul 19, 2006 20:25 IST

Under intense attack over the way he handled the Kandahar hijack crisis as External Affairs Minister in 1999, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh says in his memoirs that he was initially opposed to any compromise with the hijackers.

"...Slowly, as the days passed, I began to change," he says in the book 'A Call to Honour' scheduled to hit the stands on Friday.

The book makes no sensational disclosures about the IC 814 flight that was hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in Afghanistan on Christmas eve in 1999 with 161 passengers and crew on board but reveals some interesting nuggets about what he describes as a 'most demanding and emotionally a most draining period" of his life.

For instance, Jaswant Singh reveals that he had invited officials of External Affairs Ministry who had worked with him to have champagne at his home in New Delhi on his return from Kandahar on December 31 after securing the release of the passengers and crew in exchange for three dreaded terrorists held in Indian jails.