Wajahat Habibullah to head NCM
New Delhi, Feb 2: India’s first Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah is the new chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM).
Habibullah, who received his orders on Tuesday, will formally take over the charge on Thursday.
Habibullah, a 1968-batch IAS officer, has filled the post that has been lying vacant for the past five months.
His predecessor, Muhammad Shafi Qureshi, retired on September 2, 2010.
A member of the NCM, who described the chairperson as the “driving force” of the NCM, said things had come to a “standstill” in the Commission with no one to guide its affairs.
Qureshi was a Union Minister and Governor before his appointment to the NCM.
Habibullah said while he needed time to study his brief, he would be looking to fulfil the constitutional mandate with regard to providing a level playing field to all communities: “The overall objective is that the full weight of the Constitution, which enjoins equal opportunities for all communities, is respected in all parts of the country.”
Habibullah disputed the perception that the NCM was powerless in intervening on behalf of the minorities: “It is a Commission with a certain degree of authority and in the past it has successfully brought issues of importance to the government’s attention.”
The Jammu and Kashmir Government had in 2009 appointed Wajahat Habibullah as first CIC of J&K. However, the Centre refused to relieve him as CIC of India.
Habibullah, an IAS officer of J&K cadre, who had also served as Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir and was also involved in Track-II diplomacy on Kashmir, retired as CIC of India.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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