Saeed discussed 26/11 with Vaidik, says JuD
Saeed discussed 26/11 with Vaidik, says JuD, Amidst the raging row over the meeting between an Indian scribe and the 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawah on Thursday came out with a statement claiming that the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the Narendra Modi government were among topics discussed.
- Meet was set up at request of Indian journalist: JuD
- ‘Both discussed issues related to India and Pak’
New Delhi/Lahore: Amidst the raging row over the meeting between an Indian scribe and the 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawah on Thursday came out with a statement claiming that the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the Narendra Modi government were among topics discussed.
In India, 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."
JuD spokesperson Yahya Mujahid, who claim to be present at the interaction between Saeed and Ved Pratap Vaidik, said the meeting was set up at the request of the Indian journalist. "They discussed how all 26/11 evidences provided by India have been rejected by the Pakistani courts, India should respect Pakistani courts on this issue, on the governance style of Indian Prime Minister Modi," Mujahid said.
Reacting to the uproar in Indian parliament over meeting of the Indian journalist with the JuD chief, the statement said it showed the "narrow-mindedness" of Indian politicians and media. Vaidik had met JuD chief Saeed, wanted in India in Mumbai terror attacks case, on July 2.
In a statement issued to media today the JuD said: "We meet everyone with an open heart, whoever wants to meet, regardless of one's nation, belief or religion. Sadly, so-called secular India is unable to bear an informal meeting of senior journalist Mr Vaidik with Hafiz Saeed."
Mujahid said, "I was present in the meeting between Saeed and Vaidik." He said it was not for the first time that any foreign journalist had approached Saeed for an interview and that it was Vaidik who had requested for the meeting. Mujahid said, "Mr Vaidik asked if the JuD would protest during Modi's visit to Pakistan, Hafiz sahib replied his party does not believe in the politics of protests although it will present its point of view on the visit".
Pak distances itself from the meet Pakistan on Thursday distanced itself from the controversy over the meeting between Indian journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed saying it had no role in the private interaction.
The foreign ministry only takes care of request for official meetings and not private interactions, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said at a weekly briefing. "If there is a request for a call on the Prime Minister or the Advisor to the Prime Minister, it would go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But we don't arrange meetings of individuals with private citizens in Pakistan," she said to a query about Vaidik's meeting with Saeed in Lahore.
Opposition parties in India have alleged that the meeting between the scribe and Saeed could not have been held without the ISI's green signal. Vaidik had met Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), said to be the parent organisation of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan along with a group of journalists and politicians invited by a think tank here.