Senior journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik’s meeting with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed has sparked controversy not only in India but also in Pakistan. I don’t know why everyone is making a hue and cry over this issue? Congress condemned this interview and demanded an explanation from the government. A question which arises in my mind is that if Vaidik’s interview with Saeed is against our national interests then what about those journalists who had interviewed underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran and many others who have been responsible for killing several innocent people.
Ever since Hafiz Saeed was declared as the most wanted terrorist not only in India but by the US, security agencies like Interpol and Intelligence Bureau were searching for him but they failed to trace him. Why no questions are being raised about our Security agencies failure to nab Saeed? People are simply blowing this issue out of proportion.
Earlier, similar uproar took place in 2012 when Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar had appeared on a television talk show with Hafiz Saeed. Although Aiyar had taken firm stand against Saeed saying he should be arrested for his involvement in terrorist attacks on Indian soil, still he was criticised and was reprimanded by the Congress high command on the issue.
Ved Pratap Vaidik is a journalist and he has the right to interview anyone and visit any place. If Vaidik interacts with Saeed then Indian people will be aware about his views pertaining to India. By interviewing Saeed, Vaidik has exposed the failure of Indian security agencies. As a journalist, if Vaidik can meet Saeed then why security agencies like Intelligence bureau have failed to trace him. Saeed is wandering freely in Pakistan but no action has been taken against him. Vaidik visited Pakistan by risking his own life.
People will always doubt Vaidik’s credentials as he has links with BJP leaders and also is known as Baba Ramdev’s close aide. When I spoke with a senior journalist about this issue he said, “If Vaidik has interviewed Saeed as a journalist then he has not done anything wrong. However, if he has interacted with Saeed with some political intentions then it’s unjustified.” He further added that if a journalist cum politician like Sanjay Raut interviews anyone then he is likely to derive some political mileage out of it. Our security agencies need to interrogate Vaidik and trace Saeed’s whereabouts and extradite him to India and award punishment to him.