Mumbai: Mounting pressure on the Modi government to act against journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for meeting 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, BJP ally Shiv Sena today said the Centre cannot just shrug off its responsibility in the matter. "Just saying that the government has nothing to do with the meeting won't suffice".
Had it been a Congress government and any journalist would have met Hafiz or Dawood Ibrahim, BJP would have attacked the government," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.
"But today we are in power. So just saying that the government has nothing to do with this won't do. What is needed is to go to the bottom of the issue," the Sena said. "There should not be any Hindu-Muslim discrimination as this is a matter of national security. If the journalist is let off, tomorrow anyone will go and enjoy biryani with Dawood, Tiger Memon and Saeed," the newspaper said.
"The Modi government has begun well. It should not face problem because of misadventure of an individual. It is good that the External Affairs Minister condemned the meeting in Parliament," the Sena said.
Meeting Saeed, the country's enemy, is "treason" and the government should take stern action against the journalist, it said.
Who gave Vaidik the authority to comment on issues pertaining to India's sovereignty and integrity?, it asked.
"We are amazed by the behaviour of Pakistan government and the ISI. How come the Pak government, which refuses visa to ordinary Indians, was so generous with Vaidik," the Sena said.
Vaidik, a freelance journalist, had met Saeed in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan along with a group of journalists and politicians who had been invited by a peace research institute.
Indian journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik's meeting with Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed has caused ripples in India, a Pakistani newspaper said on Wednesday.
The meeting has "caused ripples in India" because of Vaidik's close association with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Daily Times said in an editorial.Opposition parties swamped BJP with questions about how an Indian journalist could meet a man considered responsible for the Mumbai attack in 2008", the daily said.
The meeting took place between Vaidik and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafeez Saeed on July 2 in Lahore. Vaidik had visited Pakistan with a group of journalists and politicians invited by a peace and research institute. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the meeting had nothing to do with the government.
Congress has asked the government to give details about the meeting as it is a matter of national interest. "Hafiz Saeed was shocked at the reaction of the Indian politicians to the meeting, which according to him revealed the true face of India, veiled behind a so-called secular demeanour," the editorial said. "Saeed tweeted, `Utterly shameful', about India’s reaction," it added.
The editorial went on to say that Vaidik has "defended his meeting with Saeed by calling it a personal matter and said that his only motive to meet Saeed was to analyse his mind and to understand what makes him commit such heinous crimes against India".
"Saeed has also said that his party would not protest if (Indian Prime Minister) Narendra Modi comes to Pakistan," it said.