No Relevance: Centre asks UN mission to vacate Delhi office – Shubhajit Roy

UNMOGIP Office, New Delhi

The Narendra Modi government has asked the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to vacate the government bungalow housing its office in the heart of the Capital, in a sign of its toughening stand towards the UN mission.

The Indian Express has learnt that South Block has asked the UNMOGIP to vacate the bungalow — 1AB, Purana Qila Road — which has been serving as its office for the last four decades. The government accommodation — a Type VII bungalow, about 7,000 square feet — was allotted to the UN mission “free of charge”.

Sources said in its recent communication to the UN, the government has conveyed that the UNMOGIP’s role has been overtaken by the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control. New Delhi is of the view that the UNMOGIP has “no relevance or role to play whatsoever”.

The UNMOGIP, established under a UN Security Council Resolution, was meant to supervise the ceasefire line established under the Karachi Agreement of July 1949.

The government’s decision is being seen as a move to convey Delhi’s desire to not engage with the UN mission in Delhi. “They should stay in Srinagar and do what they want. In case they want to be stationed in Delhi, they should hire premises in a private property and not occupy the government accommodation,” said a senior official requesting anonymity.

When contacted, UNMOGIP’s Military Information Officer Major Tomas Malm, who is based in Srinagar, confirmed that the government has asked them to vacate the premises. “UNMOGIP’s response is to relocate to another location in Delhi,” he said. Asked if they have been told the reason for this directive, he said, “The Indian authorities’ reason is unknown to UNMOGIP.”

Asked if the move reflected New Delhi’s stand towards UNMOGIP, he said, “You have to ask the Indian government regarding their attitude towards us”.

According to a source familiar with the arrangement between South Block and UNMOGIP, the bunglow “was allotted to the UNMOGIP as part of a gentleman’s agreement between Indian officials and the UN mission over 40 years ago. It was meant to be a short-term arrangement, and the UNMOGIP officials were supposed to move to a private hired accommodation. But that never happened.”

Even as South Block officials are yet to get the property vacated, the Ministry of External Affairs’ finance department has told them that it will not be able to provide budgetary support for such “goodwill gestures”. – The Indian Express, 8 July 2014

Note: The UNMOGIP has offices in Muzaffarabad (PoK) and Islamabad (operative during winter months only) besides one in Srinagar (operative during summer months only) besides one in New Delhi.

4 Responses

  1. Good News. Hearty congratulations and moral support to NAMO. He is like our LaL Bahadur Sastri. Please do some thing or any thing to quieten the DMK too!

    Like

  2. good news, but there is a lot more trash that needs to be cleaned out.
    move faster and harder on these types.. wherever they may hide

    Like

  3. its most appropriate decision to halt unnecessary and luxurious office. uno itself must have closed down its office and saved important money of global peoples. Major thomas malm be posted in syria or iraq for better use of his role their for world peace. he is also not needed in srinager. if he feels some role then he should go to muzzafarabad.

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  4. Apostolic Nunciature, New Delhi

    The Central Government might consider asking the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in New Delhi to pack up and get out too.

    The Nunciature does not contribute to the economic and cultural life of India in any positive way.

    At the moment it is entertaining two Italian shooters who are on trial for killing Kerala fishermen in cold blood (though the fishermen were Catholic themselves).

    There have been allegations that Vatican officials stationed in the Nunciature use the diplomatic bag to smuggle antiques and money out of the country (Sonia-G allegedly had an account in the Vatican Bank).

    No other religious denomination has an embassy and ambassador in New Delhi. Why then does the Catholic Church alone enjoy this privilege?

    Liked by 2 people

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