It was Sushma Swaraj’s second Pakistan visit in 2002 when Syed Talat Hussein of Pakistan Television (PTV) interviewed her. This time, Sushma went to the neighbour nation in the capacity of India’s information and broadcasting minister.
The interview went smooth until the Pakistani anchor resorted to Kashmir and tried to corner one of India’s best stateswoman on the issue.
To quote anchor’s query, “Do you mean to say that whatever is happening in Kashmir is breed by Pakistan? To which vehement yet composed Sushma replied, “It will be better by far, if we steer our discussion to other issues. Initially I told you not to discuss these things because I know that my answers will sound harsh. Your question is quite straight forward but my answer to this question will sound rather curt.”
The anchor went further asking Swaraj to give an answer on Kashmir. In response came Sushma’s schooling of Syed Talat about India’s conduct, which goes like, “No, I won’t. It is a breach of code of conduct to answer curtly while I am a guest here. Besides, it will also be a breach of India's code of conduct. We had better move to some other issue.”
The PTV journalist who appeared hell bent on brandishing his journalistic expertise murmured, “Our act of turning to some other issues will not solve the problem.” Having a psyche of not letting any attack go unreplied, Sushma again taking the attack to Syed said, “Problems will surely be solved. The government will sit together. But they will not be solved within thirty minutes as we are sitting here.”
Swaraj is no more but her prowess in moulding unfavourable conditions in favour will remain a lesson for innumerable Indians battling out in their day to day life.
Former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj passed away on Tuesday night. She was 67. Swaraj had a kidney transplant in 2016 and had opted out of contesting Lok Sabha polls earlier this year for health reasons. She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri.