New Delhi: Pakistan on Monday said India should “stop dragging” Islamabad into its electoral debates and termed PM Narendra Modi’s allegations of interference as “utterly baseless”.
“India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible,” Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter.
India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible.— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) December 11, 2017
Faisal’s tweet comes a day after Modi claimed at an election rally in Gujarat that Congress leaders held a “secret meeting” with current and former Pakistani officials following which Mani Shankar Aiyar's made the "neech" remark against him.
"There were media reports yesterday (Saturday) about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. It was attended by Pakistan's high commissioner, Pakistan's former foreign minister, India's former vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh," Modi said at an election rally at Palanpur.
The meeting at Aiyar's house continued for almost three hours, Modi said, adding "the next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said ‘Modi is neech’ (a vile man). This is a serious matter."
"Pakistan Army's former DG is interfering in Gujarat's election. Pakistani people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. After that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don't you think such events raise doubts?" Modi said.
Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala has rubbished Modi's claim as "baseless".
"Holding the country's topmost post, Modiji is making baseless allegations. Modiji is worried, dejected, angry. Such a statement has no truth or fact, and is based on lies. Such a behaviour is unbecoming of a prime minister," Surjewala told reporters in Ahmedabad.
The meeting at Aiyar’s residence was attended by former Army chief Deepak Kapoor, former foreign minister Natwar Singh and former diplomats Salman Haidar, TCA Raghavan, Sharat Sabharwal, K Shankar Bajpai and Chinmaya Gharekhan.
TCA Raghavan and Sharat Sabharwal had served as Indian High Commissioners to Pakistan.
Hitting out at the PM, Natwar Singh told CNN-News18, “How does Modi know what happened at the meeting? It took place to discuss improvement in India-Pakistan ties. There was no political discussion at all.”
Chinmaya Gharekhan also said the meeting was held to discuss bilateral ties. “It was a dinner… There was no political discussion whatsoever.”