Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on August 16 decided to skip the ‘SAARC Finance Ministers’ conference which is to take place in Islamabad this month.
The meeting will take place on August 25-26 and according to Pakistan Finance Ministry, all regional countries except Bangladesh have already confirmed their participation.
While India has not withdrawn its participation from the conference, it is now believed Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das would be representing India instead of Jaitely.
Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. PTI
Jaitley’s decision comes in just weeks after Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended the SAARC Home Ministers’ conference in Islamabad.
During his conference, Singh had called for tough action against terrorism and countries supporting it. He had even added that terrorists should not be glorified as “martyrs”.
His speech though was blocked by Pakistan with Singh later claiming that even media personnel from DD, ANI and PTI were not allowed to enter the conference.
Singh had later made his displeasure clear by skipping the lunch that was hosted by his Pakistan counterpart, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.