Earlier, in her welcome address, Hindustan Times Vice-Chairperson Shobhana Bhartia said there could be no better speaker than Vajpayee for such an occasion.
"As Prime Minister, he
has constantly and continuously put his
reputation and his
career on the line in his
quest for a peaceful South Asia.He
has demonstrated in his
actions that he
understands the importance of peace and recognizes the dividends that accrue from following that path," she
said that the Hindustan Times
had launched the Leadership Initiative because "we believe a serious newspaper must do more than just mere reportage or carrying interesting articles.
In many ways, South Asia is a microcosm of the rest of the world," Bhartia
cautioned, however, that if the conflicts that bedevil South Asia were not resolved, the fallout would shake the whole world.