Sujatha Singh said on Thursday that her performance as Foreign Secretary should be judged by the eight months of hectic foreign policy activity under the Narendra Modi government, which she termed a “success.”
“It hurts when it becomes a question of individuals — of this personality versus the other personality...,” she told The Hindu .
Accepting that it was the Prime Minister’s prerogative to choose his Foreign Secretary, Ms. Singh, however, challenged anybody to show that any part of India’s strategic engagement had not got its due because she was Foreign Secretary.
Pointing out that she had never hesitated to offer “free, frank and honest” advice to the government, Sujatha Singh said it was not “very important” if the counsel had not been appreciated. “...It is my duty to give my honest advice, and if it is overruled that is also the prerogative of the political leadership,” she said.
The outgoing Foreign Secretary, said to have been kept at arm’s length by the government, said she was not interested in taking up any new assignment, terming her career in Foreign Service a “closed chapter.”
Read the >full interview here
Claiming that the Ministry of External Affairs could take credit for all the outgoing and incoming visits over the last eight months of the Modi government, Ms. Singh said: “It’s not enough to make big announcements. I think it’s very important to follow up...”
Ms. Singh, who has gone on leave pending voluntary retirement, received a phone call from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday, informing her of the government’s decision to “curtail” her tenure.