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Natwar plans book on Volcker report saga

Ex-Foreign Minister says he would reveal everything in his new book.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2006 23:56 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Former Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh has said he would soon write a book to reveal all about the Volcker report saga and on corruption in Iraq's oil-for-food programme that cost him his job.

"Paul Volcker himself said he made changes in the report to save UN Secretary General Kofi Annan from embarrassment. Therefore it is clear that the report was doctored," said Natwar Singh.

Natwar Singh was forced to resign as Foreign Minister in November last year following publication of the UN-appointed Volcker committee's report that named him as a "non-contractual beneficiary" in the scandal. The report said people in many countries illegally benefited by transacting food for oil with the then Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq that was under global sanctions. The oil was then sold at a premium in the open market.

Following an inquiry ordered by the Indian government, the veteran leader and his son Jagat Singh were suspended from the party this month.

"No government in the world except the Indian government took any notice of the report. The Indian government was the only one to have taken notice and acted on the unclear report," he said.

"My name or that of my party did not figure in the first four reports of Volcker. My name was added as late as February 2005 in the fifth report, that too as a mis-spelt name of Natora Singh.

"Our missions in the United States did not bother to find out about the report and the names, neither was I informed about this when I visited that country in April 2005, nor in July same year, when I was there with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Had we been informed, we would have got this anomaly removed. Now the question is why did the Indian government decide to act on a report which was completely trashed in other parts of the world, this I would reveal in my new book which I am going to write soon", Natwar Singh said.

First Published: Aug 20, 2006 22:47 IST