Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Kashmir should be made independent: Vaidik

Kashmir should be made independent: Vaidik
The journalist who courted controversy by meeting the Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed said both India and Pakistan should stop fighting over Kashmir.
NEW DELHI: Journalist and Baba Ramdev aide Ved Prakash Vaidik on Tuesday sparked a new row saying there is no harm if Kashmir is made an independent nation, Zee News reports.

In an interview to a Pakistan-based news channel, the journalist feels both India and Pakistan should stop working towards building a bridge instead of fighting over Kashmir.

Vaidik insisted that he just said Kashmir should get autonomy, which it has. "Isn't (Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister) Omar Abdullah a Kashmiri? Is he a Bihari?" Vaidik was quoted by Zee News as saying.

The opposition on Tuesday demanded Vaidik should be arrested for meeting a terrorist.

There was a ruckus in the parliament over Vaidik-Saeed meeting. The Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned till noon following the ruckus.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked whether the Indian Embassy was aware of the meeting, adding Vaidik was a RSS man.

The journalist earlier courted a controversy by meeting with the 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

Vaidik said Sunday that he had released a photograph of his meeting with Saeed, and added that the interaction had taken place in his personal capacity.

Vaidik, who recently spent almost 20 days in Pakistan, met Saeed at his home in Johar Town area of Lahore on July 2. He told Mail Today that the hour-long meeting was the outcome of a "mutual desire" from both sides and it was arranged with the help of Pakistani journalists.

A picture of Vaidik with Hafiz Saeed was circulated on social media, stirring a raging controversy. Uproar in the Rajya Sabha followed on Monday over the controversy.

Several Congress leaders, including Digvijaya Singh, Anand Sharma and Ambika Soni, raised the issue and did not let the Question Hour begin, demanding explanation from the Modi government over Vaidik-Saeed meet in Lahore recently.

Vaidik said the Congress is raking up the issue to put Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in dock.

Asked about the propriety of meeting a person like Saeed who has been declared a terrorist, Vaidik said even former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh had met ex-dictator Pervez Musharraf, whose actions had led to the Kargil conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of Indian soldiers. "Even President George Bush, who is considered a war criminal by some, was invited to visit India," he added. (With inputs from agencies)

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