15 May, 2021

He Who Couldn’t Keep Quiet

Braggadocio, or doing his government’s bidding, what prompted Vaidik to meet Hafiz Saeed?

He Who Couldn’t Keep Quiet

Backchannel negotiations and Track-II diplomacy are par for the diplomatic course when leaders of countries want to achieve breakthroughs in bilateral relations. Editors and senior journalists are often part of this process, as informal couriers of messages respective governments might want to convey. It’s no different in the fraught India-Pakistan relationship, and there have been plenty of occasions when media personalities have voluntarily carried important messages across the border. Atal Behari Vajpayee’s Lahore peace bus initiative and the tapes played before Nawaz Sharif to show the complicity of the Pakistani army during the 1999 Kargil misadventure are two such prominent instances.

One isn’t quite sure, though, what bracket the recent meeting between old-time Hindi journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik and alleged 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed fell in. On his part, Vaidik claims he met Saeed in Lahore only out of pure journalistic impulse: the desire to interview a man who tops the list of the ‘most wanted’ terrorists in India. But with over a...

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