Ex-VP Hamid Ansari again denied links with 'spy' Pakistan journalist
Former Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday denied inviting the notorious Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza to any seminar in India. Ansari's remarks were in response to a new attack by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Mirza claims that he visited India under the UPA regime and spied for his country's intelligence organization ISI. He allegedly stated that he had visited India at Ansari's request.
How did BJP attack Ansari?
On Friday, the BJP stepped up its attack on the Congress over the matter and cited a photograph of Ansari and Mirza purportedly sharing the stage during a 2009 conference in India on terrorism. While commenting on the image BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia referred to Mirza's statement about his participation in a seminar on terrorism along with Ansari
How did Ansari respond?
Soon after BJP's attack, Ansari dismissed the charge as a "litany of falsehood". "The former Vice President of India stands by his earlier statement that he never knew or invited the Pakistan journalist to any conference, including the 2010 conference mentioned by Mirza or 2009 conference on terrorism or on any other occasion," a statement from Ansari's office said.
Ansari's earlier statement
In response to the BJP's accusation that he had invited Mirza, Ansari had stated a few days previously that invitations to foreign dignitaries by the Vice-President of India are made on the advice of the government, normally through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
How did the fresh controversy begin?
For the past several days, clips of Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza's interview in Pakistan have been making the rounds on social media. Mirza revealed, in the interview that he attended a terrorist seminar in India where Ansari spoke. Mirza also claimed to have disclosed sensitive and classified material to Pakistan's espionage agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).