Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former foreign secretary K.P.S. Menon junior was a "very happy" man on Thursday; with good reason. The next Foreign Secretary of India Shivshankar Menon would be the third person from his family to occupy the post.

Mr. Shivshankar Menon is the nephew of Mr. K.P.S. Menon junior. Mr. Shivshankar Menon's father-in-law, R.D. Sathe, has also served as the foreign secretary.

Mr. Menon junior told The Hindu , here on Thursday that the immediate challenges before the new Foreign Secretary would be to take forward the relationship with Pakistan, to promote India's relationship with China and Russia and to continue developing the relations with the United States. The job of the Foreign Secretary has become more complex over the years, the former diplomat said.

Elaborating on this point, Mr. Menon junior pointed out that opposition parties today are more vocal in their opposition to the nation's foreign policy that ever before. When the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was there everybody was supportive of India's pro-NAM foreign policy. Now there is a perception, especially among the Left parties, that India's foreign policy has become pro-American. "I personally don't agree with this," he said.

"It is good to see the government recognise merit," Mr. Menon junior said about his nephew's appointment, "Shivshankar Menon's record has been excellent."