Former Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Wednesday refuted the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) allegation that he had shared “confidential and sensitive” information about India with Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza.
In a statement, Ansari said, “Yesterday and today a litany of falsehood has been unleashed on me personally in the sections of the media and by the official spokesman 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 the national interest in a matter for which allegations have been made by a former official of a government agency.”
Ansari said that invitations to foreign dignitaries by the Vice-President of India are on the advice of the government generally through the Ministry of External Affairs.
He said he had inaugurated the Conference on Terrorism, on December 11, 2010, the ‘International Conference of Jurists on International Terrorism and Human Rights’. As is the normal practice the list of invitees would have been drawn by the organisers. He said he never invited Mirza.
“My work as Ambassador to Iran was at all times within the knowledge of the government of the day. I am bound by the commitment to national security in such matters and refrain from commenting on them. The Government of India has all the information and is the only authority to tell the truth. It is a matter of record that after my stint in Tehran I was appointed India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. My work there has been acknowledged at home and abroad,” added Ansari.
Ansari, a retired diplomat was the 12th Vice President of India from 2007 to 2017.
Notably, Nusrat Mirza, a Pakistani columnist who has visited India many times during the Congress’ rule, boasted on camera that he used to pass on information collected during his visits to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
He claimed that he had visited India on several occasions.
“I was invited to India at the time of Vice Presidentship of Mohammad Hamid Ansari,” Mirza said.
Following this, BJP attacked Congress and alleged that it was sharing the most secret things of the country with other countries, which they were using for terrorism. BJP said the Congress party has been “weakening the country”.
Addressing a press conference, BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, “Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza himself has revealed that Hamid Ansari, the former Vice President of India, invited him to India five times between 2005 and 2011. Nusrat Mirza said in an interview that the then Vice President used to call him to India. During their conversations, highly sensitive and confidential information used to be shared.
The BJP spokesperson said Mirza stated that the highly sensitive and confidential information was shared not just once but five times by Hamid Ansari and this information was used against India.
“India is playing a leading role in the campaign against terrorism all over the world. And the Congress government invited such a person to visit India five times between 2005-11 and confidential information about the country was shared,” Bhatia said.