Gujarat Polls: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lashed out at Congress suggesting that Pakistan was trying to influence the assembly polls in the state. PM Modi claimed that some Pakistani officials and Manmohan Singh met at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house over dinner on December 6. This was a day before Aiyar’s “neech” jibe against PM Modi. Subsequently, Aiyar was suspended from the party. Launching a sharp counteroffensive, former Prime Minister Singh tore into Modi over what he called the prime minister’s “ill-thought transgression” and rejected his charge as “innuendos and falsehoods”. Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma accused Modi of dragging the political discourse to an “unacceptable low” by making statements that harmed the dignity of his post and demanded he apologise to the former premier. His party colleague P Chidambaram wondered whether winning an election was so important that such allegations can be made against a former prime minister and a former Vice President.
Amidst all these jibes and counter-jibes, one name has become a popular- Sardar Arshad Rafiq. Rafiq was referred to by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “Pakistan former Army director general” meddling in the Gujarat election by rooting for Congress leader Ahmed Patel as CM. Rafiq has rejected all the allegations and said that he is a “nobody” to interfare into poll outcomes in other countries, according to Indian Express report. PM Modi’s scathing remarks on Rafiq after he reportedly posted on Facebook saying “our leader and mentor Ahmed Patel (Rajya Sabha member and Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary) must be made Gujarat Chief Minister”. Rafiq denied he had written any post on Ahmed Patel. Rafiq, however, said “Par agar Modi saheb apney shikhast ka sehra mere sar pe bandhna chah rahey hain (if Modi wants to give me credit for his defeat), he is most welcome. Sardaron key sar pe sehra hamesha bandha hota hai.” Rafiq said, “I respect both Modi and Ahmed (Patel). My mentor is my faith, family and (the) Prophet.”
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Rafiq said he was in his 50s. He said that he is “fourth generation Army man in his family”, who had served in the Pakistan Army for a “very short time” before leaving to join the federal Intelligence Bureau. Asked about his rank, Rafiq declined to comment saying he did not want to drag the Pakistan Army into any controversy.
According to details on his Facebook account, he studied at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul. It had also listed him as “former DG, Pak Army” and “former IB”. Rafiq said that he left the IB “long back” to look after his family affairs after the death of his father.