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NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party president L.K. Advani demanded on Sunday that the Government come out with a white paper on the role of foreign intelligence agencies and order a judicial inquiry on the allegations in The Mitrokhin Archive II.
Releasing the copy of a letter dated September 23 to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by National Democratic Alliance chairman Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Jaswant Singh, and himself, Mr. Advani said it was over a week since the letter was written. Having received no response, the party decided to release copies of the letter.
He said the focus would be on this issue in the winter session of Parliament.
Mr. Advani referred to the allegation in the book, The Mitrokhin Archives II, that "India was the easiest country for KGB operatives to penetrate" and that some top politicians, 10 newspapers and a news agency received slush funds from the Soviet intelligence agency. He said "the nation's good name" was the BJP's concern. The shocking disclosures went "beyond individuals, or even particular political parties," making out "as if India had been sold."
The letter said there was "an imperative need of rebutting robustly" all these allegations, and therefore, it was hoped Dr. Singh would initiate a public inquiry within four weeks.
Mr. Advani indicated that the political parties against whom allegations had been made, specifically the Congress and the Communist parties, should be "encouraged" to file defamation suits against the author of the book.
Though the letter did not mention it, at his press conference Mr. Advani demanded that the Government bring out a white paper covering the role of the KGB, the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan in making funds available to political parties, politicians and the media.
When asked why the NDA Government did not bring out a white paper on the ISI although he himself promised one before coming into power, he said, "The [Indian] handlers of ISI modules felt that such a white paper would hamper their work." He did not respond when asked whether that situation had changed.
Another question related to allegations made by the former U.S. Ambassador, Daniel Moynihan, that CIA funds were made available to Indira Gandhi to help topple the first Communist Government in Kerala and the publication, nearly 25 to 30 years ago, of a list of names of persons who allegedly received CIA funds. Mr. Advani was asked why the NDA Government did not think it fit to bring out a white paper on the subject. He did not respond to this too.
Mr. Advani said the Manmohan Singh Government needed to "come clean" on the issue that had "scandalised the country." The recent allegations suggested that the KGB penetrated (in the 1970s) the Prime Minister's Office, the Defence Ministry and even the Intelligence Bureau. There were security concerns, which needed to be addressed urgently. And for this, a white paper and a judicial inquiry were necessary.
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