Samajwadi Party MP Munawwar Saleem has said he will kill himself if any links with Pakistan were found against him, a day after his personal assistant (PA) was arrested in Delhi for alleged links with espionage ring.
“My life is an open book. Everyone in my home district Vidisha and elsewhere know about it. My house has always been open to all in Vidisha and New Delhi, but I can’t even dream of having any association with Pakistan, ISI or any other anti-national element,” Saleem told reporters in Vidisha on Saturday.
The Rajya Sabha MP said he would kill himself along with his family if investigators came out “with even the smallest of evidence of his links with anti-nationals”.
Saleem’s PA, Farhat, identified only by his first name, was arrested in Delhi on Friday night on the basis of information provided by Mehmood Akhtar, who was on deputation at the trade section of the Pakistan high commission.
The busting of the ring has spiked tensions between the neighbours, who have been trading charges and artillery shells along the border since the militant attack on an Indian army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir left 19 soldiers dead.
Saleem said he had come to know about Farhat’s arrest from TV and immediately e-mailed the Rajya Sabha secretariat, requesting them to seize his identity card and nullify it.
“I only know that Farhat hails from Kairana town in west UP and I gave him a chance to become my PA 11 months ago,” he said, adding that his verification was “done fully by the Rajya Sabha secretariat through Delhi Police as well as UP Police”.
Prior to being appointed as his PA, Farhat had served in similar capacity for other MPs as well, including former SP MP Munawwar Hasan, who died in a road accident in 2008, he said.
Maintaining that anyone conspiring against the nation should be rendered the harshest punishment, the Rajya Sabha member assured total cooperation with all the agencies probing the matter.
Powerful UP minister Azam Khan played a key role in Saleem’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha, which was done by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2012 as the Muslim face of the party in Bundelkhand region.