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The Indian Home Minister Pakistan visit – no lunch, and tough words on terrorism

The Indian Home Minister Pakistan visit no lunch and tough words on terrorism pardesi news 1470732328

Indian Home Minister visited Pakistan to attend SAARC conference; however the undiplomatic treatment by Pakistan made Rajnath Singh leave Pakistan earlier than scheduled

India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Pakistan on 3rd August 2016 to participate in the 3-day conference of the interior ministers/home ministers and other delegates of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states.

At the conference, Rajnath Singh stuck to his SAARC commitments and did not pursue any bilateral dialogue with his Pakistani counterpart. He however made the point, without manipulating a multilateral platform for bilateral talks that terrorism was a principal challenge for SAARC countries, and that "terrorists" should not be confused with "martyrs", adding that, "there were no good or bad terrorists" and that "one country's terrorist is another country's freedom fighter".   

However, he returned earlier than scheduled because the host country's establishment was being 'hostile' and because the Indian government wasn't going to accept 'undiplomatic' treatment. Raising several eyebrows was the fact that Indian journalists, who went to cover the conference in Islamabad, were denied access to the inaugural function.

On returning back home, Singh made a strong speech in Parliament, saying, "Keeping in mind the country's prestige, I did what I should have done”. Rajnath Singh also said, "I didn't go to Pakistan to have lunch”. The reference was to Pakistani home minister not being present for the official lunch at the Saarc meeting venue. Singh, too, didn't attend that lunch.

The remarks were an apparent reference to the stance adopted by Pakistan towards terrorism, and and the subsequent unrest in Kashmir that left about 50 people dead in July, 2016. Cutting across political lines, all Indian political parties supported Rajnath’s stand in the Saarc home ministers meeting.

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Patrick Callahan

Pardesi News Reporter

Pardesi News Reporter

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