In a sensational twist, Republic TV has accessed images on Wednesday which show that senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar shared the stage with a key aide of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan while on his latest visit to the country.
In the ‘Another Local Government Law?’ session of the ‘Thinkfest’ in Lahore on January 11, Shehzad Arbab- the advisor to Imran Khan on Establishment participated along with Aiyar.
Furthermore, making the entire affair even murkier, top sources have confirmed to Republic TV that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was in the know about Aiyar's activities, including about him holding an informal meeting with officials of the Pakistani government and Army on the sidelines of the event.
The development comes a day after the Congress party absolved Pakistan of the Pulwama terror attack, seizing on the arrest of J&K Police DySP Davinder Singh while ferrying terrorists, and attempted to allege conspiracy in the dastardly act that caused the martyrdom of 40 CRPF Jawans.
This assumes significance in the wake of his badmouthing India during his Pakistan visit. He not only expressed great despair over the state of affairs in India but also gave a religious colour to the Citizenship Amendment Act by alleging that it was discriminatory to the Muslims. In a reference to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, Aiyar said that this was a popular counter-revolution. Thereafter, the senior Congress leader opined that PM Modi was facing an ideological rebellion across the country.
Earlier in the day, it was revealed that Aiyar had visited Lahore just before he joining the Shaheen Bagh protests against the CAA. In his speech, he levelled an indirect attack at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He appealed to the crowd that he was ready to make sacrifices for the larger cause.
In his address at Shaheen Bagh, Aiyar remarked, "Whatever I can do personally for you, I am ready to do that. Jo bhi qurbaniyan deni hon, usme main bhi shaamil hone ko tayaar hun. Ab dekhein ki kiska hath mazboot hai, hamara ya uss (wo) kaatil ka? (Whatever sacrifices need to be given, I am ready for the same. Now let's see whose hand is strong, ours or that murderer's?)"
The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to the minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This will be applicable to the members of these communities having arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. Moreover, they will not be considered as illegal migrants. Additionally, the mandatory residence period for naturalised citizenship for these communities has been reduced to 5 years. Congress has been at the forefront of the protests against this legislation. It claims that the CAA goes against the basic tenets of the Indian Constitution.