Never invited or received him, former Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Wednesday after the Bharatiya Janata Party made some sharp allegations against him over claims by a Pakistani journalist that he visited India several times between 2005-2011 upon Ansari’s invitation and subsequently passed on information to Pakistan’s intelligence unit ISI.
Soon after the revelation, BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia slammed the ex-VP and asked him to come clean on this incident. Barely an hour after Bhatia’s attack, Ansari retorted by saying that a “litany of falsehood” has been spread against him in the public by the BJP.
“Lies are being spread against me. Invitations to foreign guests on behalf of the Vice President are given through the Ministry of External Affairs on the advice of the government. I have neither invited nor received,” Ansari said.
Refuting BJP’s claims that he had compromised India’s interests when he was the country’s envoy to Iran, Ansari said, “The government of that time was aware of my work as the Ambassador of Iran. I am bound by a commitment to national security and avoid repercussions in such matters. The Government of India has all the information.”
“After my stint in Tehran, I was appointed India’s Permanent Representative to the UNSC and my work was recognized abroad and in the country,” Ansari added.
While citing several news reports, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia told journalists, “Mirza said during his India visit, he met him (Ansari) and shared information that is sensitive and secret. We should not forget that the post of Vice President is a Constitutional post and there are many issues that cannot be shared as they are linked to the nation’s security.”
“Is it true that you invited him and violated the rule that no government or institution would work against the interests or hurt the security of the nation? Did you invite this person and share secret and sensitive matters, officially or unofficially?” Bhatia had asked.