External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has deplored "disrespectful colloquialism" used for India's former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj by former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his newly released book.
In his book, 'Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love', former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken about his relationship with his Indian counterparts during his tenure.
Pompeo writes that he did not see his original counterpart (first counterpart when he became Secretary of State in 2018), Sushma Swaraj, as an "important political player" and instead worked closely with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
He also describes Swaraj in a somewhat disparaging manner, using the American slang words "goofball" and "heartland political hack" to describe her. Swaraj served as external affairs minister in the first Modi government from May 2014 to May 2019, and passed away in August 2019.
Pompeo had a different experience with his second Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who he describes as "professional, rational, and a fierce defender of his boss and his country."
Pompeo writes that he and Jaishankar hit it off immediately and in their first meeting, he was complaining about the lack of help from his predecessor.
"He (Jaishankar) said that he could see why I had trouble with his predecessor, a goofball and a heartland political hack. "Careful, I'm a heartland political hack!" I replied in jest. He laughed, noting that if that were true, it would make me the first heartland political hack who had ever been an editor on the Harvard Law Review. Well played, J,” PTI quoted Pompeo as saying in his book.
Jaishankar has since commented on Pompeo's claims, stating that he held Sushma Swaraj in great esteem and had an exceptionally close and warm relationship with her, and also deplored the disrespectful colloquialism used for her.
"I have seen a passage in Secretary Pompeo's book referring to Smt Sushma Swaraj ji. I always held her in great esteem and had an exceptionally close and warm relationship with her. I deplore the disrespectful colloquialism used for her," Jaishankar told PTI.
Pompeo also mentions in his book that American neglect of India was a decades-long bipartisan failure. He served as CIA Director in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2018 and then as Secretary of State from 2018 to 2021. He is currently exploring the possibility of a 2024 presidential run.