New Delhi: The Sunday Guardian has been told that there exists a very close link between Madi Sharma, the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) who organised a high-profile visit of 23 Members of European Parliament (MEP) to Kashmir, and the Cabinet Office, United Kingdom government.
The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom. It is this office that nominated Sharma to become a member of the Brussels-based European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in February 2017. Her form that was submitted to EESC describes her as a “business broker”. It mentions that she was nominated to the group by the “Cabinet Office, UK Government”.
The Sunday Guardian on Friday reached out to Sharma by contacting her on WhatsApp and shared the following questions with her:
(1) Media reports have described you as a “mysterious woman”. How would you describe yourself?
(2) When did the idea to bring the MEPs to India come to you? And why?
(3) There are concerns about the credibility of the Indian Institute for Non-Aligned Studies, the organisation which, along with you, organised this trip. How are you related with the organisation? And why was it chosen by you to assist in this endeavour?
(4) The MEPs met the Indian Prime Minister, visited a high security zone like Kashmir. All this could not have been possible without the permission from the highest level of office in India. Who was your point of contact regarding this endeavour in India?
(5) What, in your view, has been achieved by this trip?
(6) Some MEPs have come on record saying that when they said that they wanted an unrestricted access into Kashmir, you rescinded their invitation. Can you tell us why?
(7) Are you satisfied with the outcome of this trip?
However, after seeing the questions, Sharma decided to block The Sunday Guardian’s number.
The Sunday Guardian has also sent a detailed questionnaire to the Cabinet Office, United Kingdom, seeking responses to what were the reasons behind the Cabinet Office deciding to nominate her to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and whether the office was aware that she had organised a high-level delegation of MEPs to Kashmir recently and whether any permission was taken by her from the Cabinet Office?
Similar questions were shared by The Sunday Guardian with the UK High Commission in Delhi.
Responses from both of them were awaited till the time the story went to press.
The role of the EESC (which is a very influential 61-year-old group that exerts considerable influence on the political and business class of European countries) and by extension that of the Cabinet Office, UK, becomes important in this issue, as Sharma appears to have used her membership of the EESC to influence the “who-is-who” of India while convincing them to let her bring the MEPs into India so that they can be taken to Kashmir
“It was a solo operation that was done by Sharma from one end and a few top officers sitting in Delhi at the other. What could have been done (bringing MEPs to India) through official proper channels, despite no such exercise being needed, was done using an entity whose objective, as per her own admission, is ‘brokering’. I don’t know what we achieved from this whole exercise, but the organizer definitely got a lot of powerful pictures for her desk,” an official of the security establishment said.