Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Nov 17, 2005
Google


Clasic Farm

Front Page
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

Front Page Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Ready to face any question: Natwar

Diplomatic Correspondent

Says he was the first person who wanted a probe; welcomes Sonia's remark



Natwar Singh

NEW DELHI: The former External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh, on Wednesday said he was ready to face any question from the R.S. Pathak Inquiry Authority, appointed to probe the charges in the report of the United Nations-appointed Volcker Committee. There was "no substance" in the allegations contained in the Volcker Report on the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal. "He [Paul Volcker] didn't even know my name. Where did he send a letter [of inquiry]," Mr. Singh asked answering questions after addressing a conference organised by Hindustan Times here.Welcoming Congress president Sonia Gandhi's remark that action should be taken against anyone found guilty by the Inquiry Authority, Mr. Singh said he was the first person who wanted a probe. "It was very necessary for Mrs. Sonia Gandhi to say what she did."

To a question whether his name or that of the party was misused by some individuals, he said, "Please don't personalise this."

Asked how he felt about his name being dragged in by the Volcker Committee, Mr. Singh said: "If I had done something wrong, I wouldn't be here today." What had happened was "disagreeable" even though he was a "gutsy" person, Mr. Singh said. He wanted to make a suo motu statement in Parliament but now the Pathak Inquiry Authority was looking into the matter. Mr. Singh questioned the wisdom of Mr. Volcker changing the language used in his Report at the instance of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "Should he have done so?"

Asked how India should vote on Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) governing board, Mr. Singh said the question should be posed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is now looking after External Affairs.

It would be a "great tragedy" if Teheran was taken to the U.N. Security Council. The Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved within the IAEA framework and Dr. Manmohan Singh was trying to do this, he said. By its September 24 vote, India got a two-month "respite" to resolve the issue within the IAEA framework, according to Mr. Singh.

On the July 18 India-U.S. nuclear deal, Mr. Singh said it required New Delhi to take reciprocal measures in response to the steps taken by Washington. It could not be that India should take all the steps while the U.S. was exempt from taking any. He was "very proud" to have been associated with the deal.

Mr. Singh said India was recognised as a de facto nuclear power by the U.S. through the deal. The "loose ends" in the deal should be tied up before U.S. President George W. Bush visited India early next year.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Front Page

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

Newyork Life Sankaranethralaya Orange


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu