Early life 

He graduated with a B.E. Degree in Electrical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras, (now Chennai) in 1962.


He started his career as a commissioned officer in the Indian Army (1963-1968), subsequently he joined the Indian Foreign Service on 29 July 1968, and his first diplomatic assignment was as Third Secretary in the Embassy of India in Moscow from August 1970.

He then served in Dar es Salaam and Washington, and was Consul General in Karachi from 1982-1985. Later he was India's High Commissioner to Cyprus 1990-92 Ambassador to Myanmar 1992–95, High Commissioner to Australia 1995-98, and High Commissioner to Pakistan 1998-2000. He was also Spokesman, Ministry of External Affairs and Information Adviser, and Spokesman in the Prime Minister’s Office with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (1985–90). He retired from Indian Foreign Service on 31 May 2000.

Mr. Parthasarathy is presently Visiting Professor in the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and a Senior Fellow at theCentre for Strategic and International Studies and a member of the Executive Committee of the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi. His main areas of interest are developments in India’s neighbourhood and issues of economic integration, energy and national security and terrorism. He currently writes an influential column in The PioneerBusiness Line andRediff.com

 mostly on foreign affairs. He is popularly regarded as a "hawk" when it comes to matters of India's defence and policy towards Pakistan and terrorism. He co-authored a book with ex-Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Dr. Humayun Khan. The book, Diplomatic Divide, debates the issues that divide India and Pakistan.

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