Asfandyar Wali Khan, the grandson of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, better known as Frontier Gandhi, attended the Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative meet on Friday. The day before, however, he found time to shop for books.india Updated: Dec 13, 2003 03:05 IST
Asfandyar Wali Khan, the grandson of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, better known as Frontier Gandhi, attended the Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative meet on Friday. The day before, however, he found time to shop for books.
On his reading list was The Afghan Diary written by J.N. Dixit, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan. The book is not available in Pakistan. Wali Khan bought two copies of the book and got them autographed by the author, who moderated a session on South Asian security on Friday. "He is an old and dear family friend. We interacted a lot when Dixit was in Pakistan as high commissioner. The relation still continues," Asfandyar said.
CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury attended the HT meet. Though he wasn't slated to speak at the conclave, Yechury attended a couple of sessions and took part in a few post-session discussions. Yechury had a long conversation with Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, during which a curious delegate approached them, asking: "So, what are you two discussing so seriously?" "Something much beyond politics," was Yechury's curt reply.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, now living in exile, attracted attention at the HT meet. Many delegates were disappointed that she wasn't speaking on Friday, but were consoled by the fact that she would deliver a keynote address on Saturday. During the day, Bhutto met Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani for lunch at his house. "The lunch was very good. And now I am feeling groggy,'' she said. She wasn't drowsy later, when she met Congress president Sonia Gandhi. They had a one-to-one meeting that lasted for nearly 30 minutes.
‘Great to be back’
Attending the conclave on Friday, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright was reminded of her previous trip to Delhi, accompanying Bill Clinton. "It's great to be back," she said. Earlier in the day, she bought 20 metres of raw silk and a hostess gown from the hotel's shopping arcade. She spent Rs 22,000 on these items.
When National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and J&K chief minister Mufti Sayeed were presented boxes by the organisers of the conclave, the moderator of the discussion, journalist M.J. Akbar said people wanted to know what they contained. Omar Abdullah opened his gift on the dais — it was a beautiful silver candle stand.
First Published: Dec 13, 2003 02:34 IST