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I never heard of any mole: Barnes
Ashish Kumar Sen writes from Washington

Harry G. Barnes Jr. served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 1981 to 1985. A former director of the Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Programmes at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr Barnes has been named in an Indian newspaper as the recipient of a letter claiming the existence of a mole in the government of P.V. Narasimha Rao. The letter was allegedly written by Thomas W. Graham, formerly at the Rockefeller Foundation.

In an interview from his home in Peacham, Vermont, Mr Barnes says he has seen the letter after it was published in an Indian magazine but does not recall receiving it 10 years ago.

Excerpts:

Do you know Thomas W. Graham who was formerly at the Rockefeller Foundation?

Yes. When I was at the Carter Center he was at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation is a major supporter of the Carter Center.

Did Mr Graham write to you about a couple of Indian officials talking to him about the nuclear tests that the Narasimha Rao was planning to conduct in 1995?

I have no recollection of such a letter. I donít recall it. I saw the letter (that was published in India Today). It was not familiar to me. I canít be sure what I have seen or not seen 10 years ago.

During what period were you based in India?

I left India in 1985 after finishing up my term as ambassador. I knew Narasimha Rao when he was foreign minister.

During your time in India did you ever hear about a mole in the Indian Government that was leaking nuclear secrets?

I never heard of one nor do I need any moles!

Are you surprised your name has been dragged into this controversy?

I was completely surprised. I havenít seen the quotation in Jaswant Singhís book (that seems to like him to the letter) and only have press reports to go by.

What do you believe may have prompted the linkage of your name to this letter?

I donít know. I havenít read the book.

Do you intend to speak with Mr. Jaswant Singh about this matter?

I have no basis for doing so until I have seen what he has written.

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