Hamid Ansari, former vice president and leader of the Congress, has released a statement detailing his encounter with Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza, who claimed to have spied on India while being on a visit to India on the invitation of Hamid Ansari, Mirza sent the data to ISI he had obtained during his visits between 2005 and 2011. Hamid Ansari has recently refuted Nusrat Mirza’s assertion that he invited the Pakistani journalist to a conference in Delhi in 2010, noting that invitations are issued by the government and the event’s organiser.

Refuting the claims, Hamid Ansari generated a statement, “Yesterday and today a litany of falsehood has been unleashed on me personally in the sections of the media and by the official spokesman of the Bharatiya Janata Party: That as Vice-President of India had invited the Pakistani journalist, Nusrat Mirza and that had met him in a conference in New Delhi on Terrorism, and that while as Ambassador to Iran, I had betrayed the national interest in a matter for which allegations have made by a former official of a Government agency.”

Hamid Ansari further said in his statement, “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 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 organizers. I never invited him or met him.”

On the allegations related to his work as an Ambassador of Iran, “My work as Ambassador to Iran was at all times within the knowledge of the Government of India. I am bound by the commitment to national security in such matters and refrain from commenting on them. The Government of India has all the information and is the only authority. 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.”

On December 11, 2010, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, Hamid Ansari inaugurated the International Conference of Jurists on International Terrorism and Human Rights. Mirza stated that he was invited by Hamid Ansari to that event.

Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza recently claimed in an interview that he spied on India and obtained the information while he was on some travels to India, where he was also invited by Hamid Ansari. But in the statement he made in this regard, Hamid Ansari put the blame on the previous UPA administration, claiming that the central government chooses which dignitaries will be invited to the event.

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