Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Hafiz-Vaidik meeting: Before Vaidik-Saeed derailment, it was Track 2, some help from Mani Shankar Aiyar

Vaidik and the others travelled to Pakistan at the invitation of Regional Peace Institute, Islamabad, for an Indo-Pak bilateral dialogue, a Track 2 intiative. Aiyar is on the institute’s board of governors. Source: Express photo Vaidik and the others travelled to Pakistan at the invitation of Regional Peace Institute, Islamabad, for an Indo-Pak bilateral dialogue, a Track 2 intiative. Aiyar is on the institute’s board of governors. Source: Express photo
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: July 15, 2014 2:53 am | Updated: July 15, 2014 10:15 am

The Congress expressed outrage on Monday over Ved Pratap Vaidik’s meeting last month with Hafiz Saeed, disrupting Parliament and accusing the Prime Minister’s Office of being “directly involved”, but the trip to Pakistan on which Baba Ramdev’s close aide met with the founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba was, in fact, coordinated by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Another senior Congress leader and former cabinet minister, Salman Khurshid, was also on the trip, along with several media personalities.

Vaidik and the others travelled to Pakistan at the invitation of Regional Peace Institute, Islamabad, for an Indo-Pak bilateral dialogue, a Track 2 intiative. Aiyar is on the institute’s board of governors.

Khurshid said on Monday that Vaidik had stayed back in Pakistan after the conference. “Ours was a very short trip of just three days including travel time, and there was a two-week gap between the conference and the meeting (with Hafiz Saeed). Mr Vaidik stayed back, and I am told he met the prime minister and others,” Khurshid said.

Aiyar said in a text message: “He (Vaidik) was with me at the invitation of the Regional Peace Institute Islamabad.” Vaidik did not respond to calls and SMSes.

In Parliament, Congress MPs created an uproar over Vaidik, a journalist “close to the RSS”, meeting “India’s most wanted terrorist” as an “intermediary”, and demanded an explanation from the government.

Later, party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed stressed the point that three of Vaidik’s former colleagues in the Delhi-based think tank Vivekananda International Foundation were now in the PMO, and demanded to know if Vaidik had met Saeed “at the instruction of the Prime Minister”.

“Vaidik belonged to the same organisation Vivekananda International Foundation, whose three members Nripendra Misra, PK Mishra and Ajit Doval are working for the Modi government as Principal Secretary, Additional Principal Secretary in PMO and as National Security Adviser,” Ahmed said.

“Now the fourth person, who also worked in the Foundation, Vaidik,… has met the most wanted terrorist in India, who is an accused in Mumbai terror strikes. A serious question arises. Did he go to meet Hafiz Saeed at the instruction of the Prime Minister? The Prime Minister and the government must come clean on it,” continued…

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