Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, at the centre of a controversy involving Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, on Thursday said being labelled an ISI agent by his wife Sunanda Pushkar has put her life in jeopardy.
"I am very happy if there are happy. But I really want to know why Sunanda has put my life in jeopardy by labelling me an ISI agent. My life has been put in danger not only in India but in Pakistan also," Tarar told PTI.
On Pushkar's allegation that she was "stalking" Tharoor, she said: "I am not a 15-year-old to stalk someone. She said I am out to spoil Shashi’s election. But Kerala and Lahore are very far off."
The row erupted on Wednesday after messages involving the three, some of them intimate, were posted on 57-year-old Tharoor's widely followed Twitter account.
Pushkar claimed on the micro-blogging site she had posted from her husband's account some private messages allegedly sent to him by Tarar to show "how she is stalking my husband".
She alleged 45-year-old Tarar was an Inter-Services Intelligence agent trying to "break" her marriage while she was away for medical treatment.
Tharoor, however, said his Twitter handle was allegedly hacked and some tweets sent from it to Tarar.
Tarar, the mother of a 13-year-old son, shot off uncharitable barbs at Pushkar and defended herself.
She said: "I am ready to take it if she calls me ugly or says I have bad dressing style. But ISI agent is something I don't understand. I have often spoken out against the establishment here."
"I was sitting in a mall in Delhi writing a letter when I got the news in December. I cried then."
Asked if she knew Tharoor, Tarar said, "I met him in April last year for an interview in India. Then I met him in June in Dubai in a social gathering. Yes, I have been in touch with him once in a while on Twitter and email." She claimed because of the controversy, she got an additional 3,000 followers on Twitter and a majority of them were from India. "Except for 5% of them, all have supported me."
Tharoor on Thursday issued a joint statement with his wife in which the duo stated they were "happily married" but distressed by "some unauthorised tweets".