KARACHI: A meeting between an Indian journalist and Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed caused uproar in the Indian Parliament on Monday, according to the Hindustan Times.
Although the Indian government distanced itself from the meeting, the Congress party sought an explanation from the treasury benches over the reported meeting, leading to two adjournments during question hour.
According to reports, Ved Pratap Vaidik, a freelance journalist who is also a close aide of Yoga guru Ramdev, met Saeed in Lahore on July 2 during a visit to Pakistan along other journalists and politicians invited by a peace research institute.
Though the government clarified that it had nothing to do with the meeting, Congress members sought a detailed statement on the purpose and motive behind the meeting with Saeed, accused by India as the mastermind of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Members of the opposition called for the journalist to be arrested and said it was a matter of national interest.
During Monday’s session at the Lok Sabha, General Secretary of Congress Digvijaya Singh asked leader of the house and finance minister Arun Jaitley if the meeting had the government's sanction.
Jaitley responded saying that for India, Hafiz is a terrorist and that the government had nothing to do with "directly, indirectly or even remotely" with any journalist meeting Saeed, the Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, the journalist, Vaidik, said he met Saeed as a journalist for an hour on July 2 in Lahore, during which the JuD chief told him that Narendra was “dangerous and now he has become the prime minister.”
Correction: An earlier version of the article incorrectly noted that the Mumbai attacks took place in 2006. The error is regretted.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ