His Excellency Mr Kofi Annan
The UN Plaza
Sub: Findings of the Volcker Committee Report on the Iraq Food for Oil Programme
In recent days the findings of the Volcker Committee have been made available widely across the world through the internet. This committee was set up under Your Excellency's direction with the gravity and credibility of the United Nations behind it. According to all its published statement it is committed to complete transparency and authenticity in its work.
Against this background, information emerging from it concerning the involvement of persons within the political system of India has come as a great shock to the people of our country. We the undersigned, head a major alliance of political parties in India, and as such, represent the concerns and interests of a very large portion of our population. We wish to make it quite clear that we have no intention of playing domestic politics in the international arena, and in this particular issue we are not concerned about the specific persons and entities involved. The issue and circumstances of the matter impinge on national interests and national honour and are therefore of immense concern to our country as a whole. Such action, if true, bring shame to the entire nation, and therefore the facts unearthed must stand the test of proper scrutiny.
It is our belief that in all such complicated and controversial situations the only goal to pursue is the truth, with unimpeachable evidence and due process.
We shall be extremely grateful if you would assist us in our democratic duty by urging the Volcker Committee on our behalf, to:
a) urgently provide us copies of all the documents in its possession which assisted it in arriving at the name of Mr Natwar Singh, the present Foreign Minister of India and the Congress Party, which is leading the United Progressive Alliance government in India, as having been part of the OFFP,
b) let us know whether any prior intimation and opportunities were given to the concerned person and entity in India, including evidence of the same, so that they could explain themselves.
c) explain the modalities followed in the investigation by which the Committee came to its conclusions regarding Mr Natwar Singh and the Congress Party.
d) confirm to us with documentary evidence as to When (Date), Who (Name) made the authorisation, How (in writing or oral) and To Whom (name and particulars) to lift the allotment of Oil made to the Congress Party (Indian National Congress), India.
Our Parliament is due to assemble for its winter session on November 23rd 05. We shall be greatly obliged if you would try to assist us in getting a response from the Volcker Committee by this time, or at the earliest possible date, as this is bound to feature as soon as Parliament reopens.
Atal Behari Vajpayee
Lal Krishna Advani