P. N. Haksar

Indian civil servant

Parmeshwar Narayan Haksar (4 September 1913 – 25 November 1998) was an Indian bureaucrat and diplomat, best known for his two-year stint as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's principal secretary (1971–73).

Quotes about Haksar

  • Indira Gandhi’s most important adviser by far was P. N. Haksar, the principal secretary to the prime minister. Of all the self-important mandarins in South Block, arriving each morning to have their briefcases carried from the car up to the office by a servant striding ahead of them, he was the top. The job title is much too humble: he functioned essentially as her chief of staff and foremost foreign policy adviser. (Henry Kissinger once called him “my opposite number there, Haksar, who is probably a communist.”) In terms of the Nixon administration, P. N. Haksar was something like the Indian equivalent of H. R. Haldeman and Kissinger combined. He got vastly more face time with the new prime minister than any cabinet official, and exercised tremendous influence on her.
    • quoted in Bass, G. J. (2014). The Blood telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide.
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