Sunday, November 06, 2005

External Affairs Sinister?

Paul Volcker has stolen the lime light this week. He’s been at the centre stage at the expense of big shots the world over. The most prominent of Indians among those feeling the heat is the External Affairs Minister, Mr Natwar Singh, and with him in the grill is the Congress Party!

The opposition is at its best, enjoying the warmth radiating from the heat. One wonders if the Constitution has framed standard responses to any such situation by whoever is in the opposition – an unequivocal call for resignation of those facing probes. Why else would we hear those voices that we can almost certainly expect whenever someone is being named in any report! For its part, the Congress has been busy with its blunders: announcing of its impending legal notices to the UN! Legal Notices? Are they planning to fight it out in Court? That was a knee jerk reaction, fodder for the opposition to keep chewing.

The UN ordered enquiry into allegations of foul play in Iraq whose latest in a series of reports has just arrived. Is the report conclusive? Does it indict those named? Volcker says he wasn’t aware who Mr Natwar Singh was, till a couple of days back! How then, does he claim to have communicated with all those involved, seeking clarifications on their roles? Does the UN back the report yet and give it its stamp of authenticity? At a bigger level, the UNO itself is under fire for its conception and execution of the Oil-for-Food Programme!

Questions abound; Rediff says Government is considering a probe. Issues need to be clarified from the UN before fresh probes are ordered; after all, that’s what Paul Volcker has been doing all these days!