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Key inputs ignored: Natwar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 9
Seeking to defend his case in the Volcker controversy, former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, who has been suspended from the Congress, today cited a communication to the government by Permanent Mission of India (PMI) to the United Nations saying that the UN-appointed Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) had the inclination to discredit the opponents of US policy.

In a statement here, the suspended Congress leader alleged that the Manmohan Singh government and the Justice R.S. Pathak Inquiry Authority had “delibrately ignored” certain vital inputs made available by the PMI with regard to the authenticity and veracity of the Volcker report.

The statement of Mr Natwar Singh, read out by his son Jagat Singh, said, “I place before the people of India what the PMI has reported in the final report on the oil-for-food programme investigation on the authenticity and veracity of the Volcker report to the Manmohan Singh government.” He said the communication was of October 30, 2005.

Mr Natwar Singh, who along with Mr Jagat Singh were indicted by the Justice Pathak Inquiry Authority, complained that a malicious campaign had been mounted against him over the report of Paul Volcker.

“This has subjected me to a painful inquisition thereby questioning my honour and integrity and my political and diplomatic credentials acquired over my lifetime,” he said.

Mr Natwar Singh said he was reproducing what Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Minister, PMI has reported to the government.

“The Independent Inquiry Committee is headed by Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, whose inclination would be to discredit the opponents of US policy... No evidence has been cited and no documentation given on most of the allegations made” and “due process was not observed because none of the non-commercial entities were asked, through PMI, to respond to the allegations.”

Natwar Singh found common cause with Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and other newfound supporters like former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal United leader Digvijay Singh, also a former minister of state for external affairs.

This group of MPs, referred to as “nuclear club”, was trying to build a loose coalition that included the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the AIADMK and elements of the Left parties that support the Manmohan Singh government to embarrass the latter by pushing for a Parliament resolution against the nuclear deal with the US. Sources close to Natwar Singh said the former foreign minister was preparing to fire yet another salvo at Manmohan Singh in his reply to the show cause notice and suspension order.

Natwar Singh was busy defending himself throughout the day before TV channels and even said that the so-called “crucial” letter that has nailed him in the oil-for-food scam may have been forged.




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