M A I N   N E W S

Jaswant Singh refuses to name mole
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh belied all hope of getting to the bottom of the "mole" in the PMO as he today stuck to his guns refusing to disclose the identity of the alleged US spy or to seek time from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the issue.

Addressing newspersons at a specially convened press conference to clarify issues about which he had written in his just-released book "A Call to Honour", he made light of the "mole" in the PMO and asserted that the contents of the document in his possession in this regard did not not warrant any serious investigation.

"I do not know whether he was a civil or uncivil servant but he was in the PMO in a high position," said the former minister, who was dared by Manmohan Singh to disclose the name of the mole, in reply to a barrage of questions.

Mr Singh, who felt offended at the Prime Minister daring him to reveal the name through the media, made clear that he would not not seek an appointment with him since he had chosen to "speak through the media".

"I will share whatever information in my possession with the Prime Minister whenever he gives me time on his own," he said.

Mr Singh said yesterday that he would meet the Prime Minister and give the name of the mole to him but he chose to play a different tune today.

Confronted with a question as why he had sat over the information on the ''mole'' for a decade, Mr Singh said he felt no interests would be served by its disclosure and it would have appeared to be an act of "political vendetta digging graves" at a time when the country was going through a period of uncertainty and repeated change of governments.

"With the NDA government carrying out the needed nuclear tests and the central purpose of the government having been achieved, the disclosure would have appeared to be politics of vendetta," he asserted.

Asked why he did not inform intelligence and police agencies about the document, the BJP leader said, "the contents of the letter did not warrant any such investigation, certainly not by the Delhi Police."

Refuting suggestions that his ''disclosures'' were aimed at promoting his book, he said, "I seldom appear before the media even otherwise. I am not engaged in any kind of self- aggrandisement". He offered 30 per cent discount to accredited journalists.

To a question whether the letter in his possession was "authentic", he said, "let the Prime Minister judge it. Otherwise, let him trash it."

Earlier, Mr Singh read out a written statement which claimed that "no money was ever paid to anybody for obtaining the release of IC 814 and the hijacked passenger on December 31, 1999, either then, earlier or later".



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