Former Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday refuted the allegation that he had invited to India a Pakistani journalist who has claimed to have spied for ISI, and said a "litany of falsehood" has been unleashed against him in sections of media and by a BJP spokesperson. In a statement, he also rejected the allegation, made by the BJP citing comments of a former RAW functionary, that he had compromised national interest as India's ambassador to Iran.
BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia had at a press conference earlier in the day asked Ansari and the Congress to come clean on the claims of Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza that he had visited India five times during the UPA rule and passed on sensitive information collected here to his Pakistan's spy agency ISI.
Bhatia cited Mirza's purported comments that he had visited India on Ansari's invitations and also met him, but the former vice president rejected the claims. In his rebuttal, Ansari said, "It is a known fact 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.
"I 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. I never invited him or met him," added Ansari, who was India's vice president between 2007-17. The former vice president said his work as ambassador to Iran was at all times within the knowledge of the government of the day. He said he is bound by the commitment to national security in such matters and will 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," Ansari said.
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