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Abid Hussain: A born diplomat,built ties with charm

Former ambassador to the US,Dr Abid Hussain,died in London following a massive heart attack. He was 85

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
June 22, 2012 2:26:27 am

Former ambassador to the US,Dr Abid Hussain,died in London on Thursday morning following a massive heart attack. He was 85.

Hussain was honoured with Padma Bhushan for meritorious services in 1988,and was currently a senior trustee of the Observer Research Foundation,a public policy think-tank based in New Delhi.

Born in December 1926,Hussain was a member of the Indian Administrative Service and served in various capacities at the Centre. He was Secretary,Ministry of Heavy Industries,Commerce Secretary and Chairman,IIFT.

He was appointed Member,Planning Commission in 1985. Later on,he took over as Ambassador to the US between 1990 and 1992.

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Former ambassador to the US,Lalit Mansingh,who served as the deputy chief of mission in the US when Hussain was the envoy,described him as a “born diplomat”. “He was not from the Indian Foreign Service… many of us are trained diplomats,but he was a born diplomat. He was so good in communicating and was full of his Hyderabadi charm.”

He recalled how Hussain befriended the Pakistani envoy in the US — who had arrived after him — and whose name was Abida Hussain. “He invited the Pakistan ambassador and her family to his home,and developed a rapport. We never faced any problems with the Pakistan mission during the tenure,” he said.

Ronen Sen,another former envoy to the US who had known him for the last three decades,said Hussain epitomised “optimism”. “He was always so upbeat,was ever smiling and brought out the best with people who worked with him. He steered the most difficult of times with lot of finesse and charm. He would always sign off his letters as Abid and drew a rose in a single stroke,” Sen said.

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