‘No relevance’, Centre asks UN mission to vacate Delhi office

UNMOGIP was meant to supervise the ceasefire line established under the Karachi Agreement of July 1949.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published:July 8, 2014 2:42 am
The UNMOGIP office in New Delhi. ( Express photo by Amit Mehra ) The UNMOGIP office in New Delhi. ( Express photo by Amit Mehra )

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”.

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  1. I
    Jul 8, 2014 at 3:33 am
    good move . We don't have to feed them any more no relevance
    1. J
      Jul 8, 2014 at 5:57 am
      many many such things in the offspring!!!!congratulations!!
      1. S
        S K
        Jul 8, 2014 at 5:43 am
        position without responsibilities and san any result. better get the Bunglow back.
        1. S
          Jul 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm
          Beautiful................i love you BJP.............
          1. A
            Jul 8, 2014 at 7:23 am
            1. S
              Jul 8, 2014 at 4:19 am
              Good sign of the Indian government. Much better is to quit the UN.UN is an western christian organization, ment to keep peace, but nevercould have stop any war till now. More important is, the West isrejecting India into the UN security council. If stan is looking for war,no problem, destroy it.
              1. B
                Bloggervat Bloggervat
                Jul 9, 2014 at 12:19 am
                Modi is not a superman.... But what Modi is trying to do first is to make people realize and be proud to be an indian. Only when we are proud to be indian, we would be responsible citizens... And as a nation he makes india stand on her own legs and show sone spine!!!! Bravo
                1. T
                  Aug 5, 2014 at 11:01 am
                  Simply Gr8
                  1. H
                    Jul 8, 2014 at 1:47 am
                    They had it free for 40 years???? I would like to work for Un in that case. Go there and pretend to work....and just have fun instead.
                    1. G
                      Greg Savage
                      Jul 8, 2014 at 8:32 am
                      It's time we showed some backbone. The UN has been a mute spectator to not only the conflict between India & stan but also to other conflicts around the world; since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has either done nothing or has just towed the line favoured by the US. Given that India is now powerful enough to ert itself on the world stage and the fact the UN is nothing more than a paper tiger in its current avatar; its time we got rid of the UNMOGIP out of the building that they have occupied for the past 4 decades.
                      1. g
                        Jul 8, 2014 at 3:16 am
                        Great move by Indian government. A breath of fresh air, we need to scrutinize all such nonsensical freebies that aren't in national interest and make welcome amends.
                        1. H
                          Hari Goyal
                          Jul 8, 2014 at 3:09 am
                          Good move. It kill two birds with one stone. Get UN out of Delhi and get prime property vacated.
                          1. H
                            Jul 8, 2014 at 8:25 am
                            GOOD RIDDANCE OF LADY MOUNTABATTEN'S KIN
                            1. K
                              Jul 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm
                              good decision get rid of those useless things this building can be more useful for otherthing now that happen i think other un organistion will start working or go
                              1. S
                                Jul 8, 2014 at 2:01 am
                                Is it me or is PM Modi doing more than UPA did in all its years? Kudos to him. I like it.
                                1. K
                                  Kirtimaya Varma
                                  Jul 8, 2014 at 8:12 am
                                  An absolutely great move. Modi can do wonders for India. He is sure to do what none of our prime ministers in the past had the courage to do. We can all look forward to great times under Modi's leadership. His every move is calculated to make India from a banana republic unable to deal with the mischiefs of its neighbors to a great country living with dignity in the comity of nations.
                                  1. M
                                    Jul 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm
                                    Good. This is late but not too late. What we need to see that these politicians and government employees remain focused, motivated, committed and honest to themselves to do the right thing and continue to do so.
                                    1. M
                                      Jul 8, 2014 at 4:14 am
                                      Good move by the Govt
                                      1. S
                                        Sriram Narayanaswamy
                                        Jul 8, 2014 at 6:01 am
                                        You speak so lightly of destroying stan. How old are you?
                                        1. R
                                          Jul 8, 2014 at 8:53 am
                                          Excellent move by the GOI!!!
                                          1. R
                                            Rajdeep Dardesai
                                            Jul 12, 2014 at 5:09 am
                                            Good move - UNMOGIP is a just a busybody out to support stan and Western interests. Kick them out of Srinagar too.
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