NEW DELHI: Indian High Commission in Pakistan was not aware of journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik's meeting with JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and there was no question of facilitating it, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.
“We have received a report from the Indian High Commission (in Pakistan). The High Commission has categorically stated that they did not know about this meeting and, therefore, question does not arise about the High Commission facilitating it," Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha.
The biggest "blunder" of Vaidik was his failure to inform the Indian High Commission of his Hafiz meeting and ask for an official to attend.— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) July 16, 2014
Making a brief statement after vociferous demands for it by Opposition Congress and RJD, she said she had heard that Vaidik "told some news channels that the High Commission knew about the meeting. We had then sought a report from the High Commission."
Swaraj said she had made it clear earlier too and "I am again saying with full responsibility that the government had nothing to do with either the visit of Vaidik (to Pakistan) or his meeting with Saeed."
Her statement came after the Congress and RJD members trooped into the Well, with Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asking if the Ministers can make a statement on the matter outside Parliament or even in Rajya Sabha, "Why can't they do it here (Lok Sabha)."
The House witnessed uproarious scenes during Zero Hour after V Maitreyan (AIADMK) wondered that while the opposition members were so agitated over the killing of citizens in a distant land, they were not concerned over the killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lanka.
"I strongly condemn the killing of innocent civilians anywhere in the world, whether it is Palestine or Sri Lanka. I and my party are anguished that while they (opposition) are so concerned about the killing of citizens at a distant place, they are not concerned about killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen in neihgbouring Sri Lanka," he said.
Irked by his remarks, opposition members including those of Congress and Left parties were on their feet and entered the aisles while Maitreyan received support from treasury benches.
Protesting members demanded that the "aspersions" cast by Maitreyan be expunged.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien sought to pacify the agitated members saying he will check the records and will expunge remarks if they have cast any direct or indirect aspersion against any member.
As uproar continued, Kurien adjourned the House till 2 PM. Leading the opposition attack, Congress accused the government of "disrespecting" and "diluting" institutions one after another and said that now they were trying to do so with Parliament.
"The question is not what topic is to be discussed and when. The question is that whether the Executive can over-rule the rights of the Legislature. In such a short span of time, this government has disrespected one institution after another in the country. After Judiciary, they are now trying to disrespect Parliament. We will now allow it," Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Cong) said.