HAMID ANSARI ON SPY ROW OVER PAK JOURNALIST: ‘I NEVER INVITED HIM OR MET HIM’

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The Pakistani columnist Nusrat Mirza is rather famous for his hilarious comments on the Internet

New Delhi: Hamid Ansari has hit back at the BJP for accusing him of inviting a shady Pakistani journalist to India when he was the Vice President. Mr Ansari in a statement said “a litany of falsehood has been unleashed on me” and denied meeting or inviting Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza, who is suspected of having links with Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

Mr Ansari rejected allegations made by the BJP citing comments of a former spy agency Research and Analysis Wing official that he compromised national interest as India’s Ambassador to Iran.

“Yesterday and today a litany of falsehood has been unleashed on me personally in sections of the media and by the official spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party: that as Vice President of India I had invited the Pakistani journalist, Nusrat Mirza. That I had met him in a conference in New Delhi on ‘terrorism’, and that while as Ambassador to Iran, I had betrayed national interest in a matter for which allegations have been made by a former official of a government agency,” Mr Ansari said in the statement.

“It is a known fact that invitation to foreign dignitaries by the Vice President of India are on the advice of the government generally through the Ministry of External Affairs. I had inaugurated the conference on terrorism on December 11, 2010…As is the normal practice the list of invitees would have been drawn by the organisers. I never invited him or met him,” the former Vice President said, referring to the Pakistani journalist.

“My work as Ambassador to Iran was at all times within the knowledge of the government of the day…” Mr Ansari said in the statement.

BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia earlier today in a press conference asked Mr Ansari and the Congress to respond to the claims of Mr Mirza that he visited India five times during the United Progressive Alliance rule and passed on sensitive information collected in India to Pakistan’s ISI.

Mr Bhatia cited Mr Mirza’s purported comments that he had visited India on Mr Ansari’s invitations and also met him.

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