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Redeemed Liddar given Canadian posting with UN

Bhupinder Liddar has now been made Canada's representative to UN agencies in Nairobi, Kenya.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2005 13:03 IST

Bhupinder Liddar, whose earlier appointment to Canada's consulate in Chandigarh was shelved due to unfounded security suspicions, has now been made Canada's representative to UN agencies in Nairobi, Kenya.

The feisty Liddar, who fought his government for cancelling his earlier plum posting and who was given a formal public apology by the country's foreign minister for the mistake last month, has now been appointed after a two-year hiatus to head the Canadian offices at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlement programme known as Habitat.

"It's a great honour, going to an international organisation, and especially the United Nations, to be part of the international scene and to work in a field like the environment," Liddar told IANS.

"I think the process (in Canada) worked well and we must respect it," he added.

After he was appointed to the Chandigarh consulate, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had denied him top-security clearance casting suspicion on him more than a year ago.

Liddar opted for a Security and Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) investigation rather than the compensation the government offered him for the cancelled appointment. He was absolved and the CSIS was lambasted by one and all when the SIRC found nothing to support CSIS claims.

Last month Liddar was cleared by the government.

"When they offered me this I didn't look sideways and said yes. The other thing is, it is like a homecoming for me because I was born in Nairobi and now I'm looking up my old school friends," Liddar said.

"It also says a lot for Canada as a country that recognises one's abilities - an immigrant who came in 1976 is now going to represent the country."

He said he felt no bitterness about what had happened to jinx his Chandigarh appointment. He leaves in mid-December for Nairobi and takes on his new post Jan 2, 2007.

"It's a full three-year posting, so pack your bags and come over for some safariing," he joked.

Liddar will represent Ottawa at UNEP in areas such as biodiversity, ozone depletion and water and sanitation, and at Habitat, he will be involved with the World Urban Forum, which will be hosted at Vancouver next year.

He came to this country in 1976 after completing his masters from the University of Illinois. In Ottawa, he came to be known for his newsletter that he started in 1986. He also did talk shows television.

First Published: Nov 02, 2005 13:03 IST