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Inder Kumal Gujral, idealist Indian prime minister, dies at 92

India's 12th prime minister, Inder Kumal Gujral, died today after a yearlong illness.

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Indian Muslim devotees offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the historic Taj Mahal in Agra on August 20, 2012. (Strdel/AFP/Getty Images)

India's 12th prime minister, Inder Kumal Gujral, died today at age 92 after a yearlong illness, BBC News reported.

The Indian government declared a seven-day state mourning period following the news of his death, the Hindustan Times reported. A state funeral near Smriti Sthal is planned for Saturday.

During the 11 months he served as prime minister in 1997 and 1998, Gujral worked to improve India’s relationship with Pakistan, BBC News reported.

He developed an approach to foreign policy known as the “Gujral doctrine,” in which India strove for friendly relations with its neighbors without expecting concessions in return, BBC News reported.

“As Prime Minister, he set an example of grace under pressure, of composure in difficult circumstances and of steadfastness to principles,” India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, said today, according to the Hindustan Times.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/121130/inder-kumal-gujral-idealist-indian-prime-minister-di