Indian High Commission was unaware of Vaidik-Saeed meet: Sushma Swaraj
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Amidst hullabaloo over journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik`s meeting with JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday announced that the Indian High Commission in Pakistan was not aware of the meet.
"We have received a report from the Indian High Commission (in Pakistan). The High Commission has categorically stated that they did not know about this meeting and, therefore, question does not arise about the High Commission facilitating it," Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha.
Making a brief statement after vociferous demands for it by Opposition Congress and RJD, she said she had heard that Vaidik "told some news channels that the High Commission knew about the meeting. We had then sought a report from the High Commission."
Swaraj said she had made it clear earlier too and "I am again saying with full responsibility that the government had nothing to do with either the visit of Vaidik (to Pakistan) or his meeting with Saeed."
Her statement came after the Congress and RJD members trooped into the Well, with Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asking if the ministers can make a statement on the matter outside Parliament or even in Rajya Sabha, "Why can`t they do it here (Lok Sabha)."
On June 15, a cornered government had denounced Vaidik`s meeting with Saeed and had sought a report from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
Vaidik has been claiming that he met Saeed -- the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack and one of three terrorists India freed in 1999 after an Indian Airlines planed was hijacked -- as a journalist.
Sushma Swaraj had told the Rajya Sabha that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had nothing to do with the meeting and has sought a full report from the Indian high commissioner in Pakistan.