NEW DELHI: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Friday said Islamabad was “not aware” of the meeting between 26/11 mastermind Hafeez Saeed and Baba Ramdev-aide Ved Pratap Vaidik, which has become a political controversy here.
“Neither our government nor Indian Government was aware of the meeting. It was a meeting between two private individuals and nothing more,” he told reporters.
Vaidik had met Hafiz in Lahore on July 2 and issued a press release on the meeting two weeks later.
It created a massive furore as Vaidik was seen close to BJP supporter Ramdev and the Opposition grabbed the opportunity to corner the government in Parliament. The Centre had to make repeated statements in both Houses that Vaidik was on a “private misadventure”.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had on Thursday said the Indian High Commission hadn’t had any prior knowledge of the meeting.
Asked if Pakistani military intelligence agency ISI was also unaware of the meeting, Basit said the Pakistani Government had nothing to do with it. He said Vaidik was given the visa to attend a conference.
“We issued him the visa to attend the conference. But, he stayed back. We are liberal in issuing visas,” Basit said.