Nagpur, July 27 (PTI) Senior RSS ideologue and former spokesman Baburao Vaidya is all set to visit Pakistan for a two-day journalism symposium next month, albeit as a journalist.
“I have accepted the invitation extended by the South Asian Free Media Association through its Delhi-based president K.K. Katyal for the August 10-11 symposium,” Vaidya said.
“However, I will be participating in my individual capacity as a journalist and not as a representative of the RSS,” he said.
The association has invited a 45-member delegation, including journalists and MPs, to participate in the symposium titled Journalists and Experts Conference: Understanding, Confidence Building and Conflict Resolution to be held in Islamabad.
Imtiyaz Alam from Pakistani daily Jung is the secretary general of the association in Lahore.
Vaidya, who was chief editor of the pro-RSS Marathi daily Tarun Bharat till 1983, said he was extended an invitation after his name was proposed, and “accordingly, I have accepted the invitation only today”.
Katyal had written to RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan last week, asking him to visit Pakistan along with the delegation, Vaidya said. “But there was no exclusive invitation to the RSS. He (Sudarshan) declined to go simply because the invitation was not meant for the RSS but for journalists and experts,” Vaidya added.
“I do not intend to carry any message from Sudarshan during my visit to Pakistan,” he said.
Tarun Vijay of Panchjanya, the RSS mouthpiece, and pro-RSS columnist Muzzafar Hussain have also been invited, Vaidya said.
Gearing up for his first overseas trip, Vaidya said he has applied for a passport. He is scheduled to reach New Delhi by August 8, he said, adding that his “further itinerary would be known by that time”.