Durga Prasad Dhar

Durga Prasad Dhar, commonly known as D. P. Dhar (1918–1975), was a Kashmiri politician and an Indian diplomat, who is a considered a chief architect of the Indian intervention in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.[1] Dhar was a close adviser and confidant of Indira Gandhi. He served as the Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union, and as a minister in the Government of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Government of India.

Durga Prasad Dhar
Ambassador to the Soviet Union
In office
Preceded byKewal Singh
Succeeded byK.S. Shelvankar
Ambassador of India to Soviet Union
In office
Preceded byK.S. Shelvankar
Succeeded byInder Kumar Gujral
Personal details
Born(1918-05-10)10 May 1918
Died12 June 1975(1975-06-12) (aged 57)
ChildrenVijay Dhar
Alma materUniversity of Lucknow, University of Punjab
OccupationDiplomat, Ambassador of India to Soviet Union

Early life and educationEdit

D. P. Dhar studied at Tyandale Biscoe School[2] He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Punjab and went on to complete his LLB from the University of Lucknow.[3]



Dhar joined the Quit Kashmir movement in 1946, which was led by Sheikh Abdullah against Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir. He is reported to have played a key role in assisting the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. He helped the Indian officers interact with the population and collect porters, mules and other kinds of administrative help which facilitated the soldiers' job.[4]

Dhar was subsequently appointed the Home Secretary and then the Deputy Home Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in 1948, when Sheikh Abdullah was the Prime Minister. He was a Member of the Jammu and Kashmir State Constituent Assembly from 1951 to 1957 which endorsed Kashmir's accession to India. He was also a Member of the State Assembly from 1957 to 1967, and was appointed Cabinet Minister, in-charge of various portfolios. He was later elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir in 1972. He was appointed as the Union Minister for Planning in July, 1972.[3]

Dhar was a close associate of Indira Gandhi and was instrumental in finalising the 1972 Indo-Bangladesh treaty of peace, friendship and co-operation.[5][6] He became one of the closest confidants of the Nehru-Gandhi family and also played a significant role in the 1972 Simla agreement between India and Pakistan.[7]


Dhar was a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations security council meeting in 1949 and the Indian delegation to United Nations General Assembly in the Paris Session of 1952.[3] He was the ambassador of India to the Soviet Union between 1969-1971 and then again from 1975 till his death.[8]

He negotiated the 1971 Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and was a principal architect of India's military intervention in neighbouring East Pakistan's civil war, which led to the creation of independent Bangladesh.[9][10]

The D.P. Dhar Hall at Embassy of India in Moscow is named in his honour.


D.P. Dhar died of a heart attack on 12 June 1975.


In 2012, Bangladesh president Zillur Rahman conferred the Liberation War Friendship Honour (posthumous) to Durga Prasad Dhar in recognition of his pioneering role in concluding the 1971 Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty, mobilising international support in favour of Bangladesh and playing a special role in support of the Liberation War.[11] Vijay Dhar, son of D.P. Dhar received the honour on his behalf in Dhaka.[12]


  1. ^ "Events of 23 June 1975". Time. 23 June 1975. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. ^ Hyderi, M. (14 March 2015). "Schooling excellence, Biscoe since 1880". Greater Kashmir. Archived from the original on 29 December 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Chief Minister, W.A. Sangma (28 July 1975). "Proceedings of the Emergent session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly". Shillong: Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  4. ^ Sen, Maj Gen L. P. (1969). Slender Was the Thread: Kashmir Confrontation 1947-48. New Delhi: Orient Longman. p. 196. ISBN 0-86131-692-4. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  5. ^ Nayar, K.C. (14 September 2011). "Greater common good". telegraphindia.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Durga Prasad Dhar, 57 Dead; Cemented Indian Ties to Soviet". The New York Times. June 13, 1975.
  7. ^ Issue 02, Vol 02 (19 March 2012). "Durga Prasad Dhar". kashimrlife.net. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Ambassadors of India to USSR and Russia". indianembassy.ru. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  9. ^ untitled. Time. June 23, 1975.
  10. ^ Srreenivasan, T. P. (31 December 2016). "How India, Pak came close to settle border". Deccan Herald, 2016
  11. ^ Online, The Hindu (27 March 2012). "D.P. Dhar honoured in Bangladesh". The Hindu.
  12. ^ Bangladesh, Sangbad Sanstha. "Bangladesh honours Indian who shaped things in 1971". bssnews.net. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2012.