As a row erupted over his meeting with Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik, considered close to Baba Ramdev, on Monday rejected suggestions by Congress that he might have acted as government’s envoy, saying he was “nobody’s envoy but my own”.
Vaidik also defended his action, saying he has been meeting all kinds of people and it was a “simple thing” for him.
“Journalists in Pakistan know me for decades. They made a gesture (about meeting Saeed) to me and I said alright I will meet him. It was no big deal for me. It was a simple thing.
For me it was like a normal meeting. I have been meeting the Maoists of Nepal, Taliban of Afghanistan…,” he told reporters.
Vaidik had met the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, 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 peace research institute.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh raised questions as to whether Vaidik met Sayeed as an envoy of the NDA government or as a personal envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“If they raise the issue in Parliament, it is good as they will publicise me against my will. But nothing will come out of it,” he said on Twitter.
Ramdev, meanwhile, came to Vaidik’s defence, saying he would have tried to effect a “change of heart” in the globally-designated terrorist.
“He is a senior journalist and if in any context he is meeting a particular person, then there must be a reason behind it,” the yoga guru said.
Birla said her campaign this time is “very similar” to the last time.