This book truly underlines J.N. Dixit’s status as the current Mr South Asia of the South Block. Having served in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan; also in the South Block in two pivotal positions—as official spokesman and later as foreign secretary—Dixit’s foreign policy perspective on the region and his understanding of the nation’s strengths and weaknesses is comprehensive.
He presents in this book his narrative of the progress of Indo-Pak relations, from the ’70s to the opening years of the new millennium. His writing bears the style of old classical historians like Badauni and Lahori. He also discusses issues like Kashmir and the pursuit of nuclear and missile capabilities in the face of non-proliferation and missile technology control regime. Remember Z.A. Bhutto’s menacing statement that the people of Pakistan were determined to possess atom bombs even if it meant eating grass? He discusses all these issues and the Agra summit of July 2001 too without emotion, in a factual, dry style.