When Kalam lectured Musharraf to avoid Kashmir!

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New Delhi, Apr 27 (UNI) Though not a politician or a diplomat, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam dodged some critical issues like Kashmir during his tenure as President in such a manner that on one occasion even blunt-talking Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf could do little but listen to him in rapt silence.

In his book titled ''The Kalam Effect: My Years With The President,'' Dr Kalam's then secretary P M Nair, in one of the chapters, gives an account of General Musharraf's visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2005.

''Gen Musharraf was visiting India. A visit by the President of Pakistan is always a significant event, and there was the usual hubbub in diplomatic circles, as also in the press. Among his appointments was a call on President Kalam.'' Mr Nair says he went to Dr Kalam a day before the visit. ''Sir, General Musharraf is calling on you tomorrow.'' ''Yes I know,'' Dr Kalam replied and waited, wondering what Mr Nair was about to say.

''Certainly, sir, he will raise the Kashmir issue with you. You have to be prepared for the same.'' Dr Kalam paused for a moment, looked at him, smiled and said, ''Don't worry, I shall deal with it.'' Mr Nair further writes that ''his (Dr Kalam's) confidence was reassuring, yet I left his room wondering how he would deal with an issue which could nettle the best diplomats, and had derailed one famous summit meeting, the one at Agra. Besides being at the heart of several conflicts with that country (Pakistan).'' MORE UNI AG AM BD1015

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