Home Minister Rajnath Singh on August 3 reached Islalambad to attend the SAARC Home Ministers’ conference amid protests by various religious and jihadi outfits.
Over 2,000 activists took to streets outside the Saarc conference venue.
Pakistan-based terror groups, including Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Syed Salahuddin’s Hizbul Mujahideen, took part in protests and accused Singh of having a role in the widespread violence in Jammu and Kashmir triggered by the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani last month.
In Islamabad, the express highway was blocked by a large number of workers of the Hurriyat Conference.
Pakistani protesters even torched an Indian flag.
A large number of rights activists gathered for a protest at Muzaffarabad Press Club, demanding that the Pakistan government should not receive Singh.
Mishal Malik, wife of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik, also staged a protest in front of National Press Club in Islamabad.
Singh, the first Indian leader to visit Pakistan after Pathankot terror attacks, will be underlining meaningful cooperation among the South Asian countries against terrorism and organised crime.
Earlier, a JuD caravan led by Talha Saeed, the son of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, had staged a sit-in at the Line of Control near Chakothi in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), where they were stopped by Pakistani security forces. Following strain in India-Pakistan relations after Islamabad glorified the death of Wani, there is little possibility that Singh will meet his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan or other leaders. Sources in Pakistan’s interior ministry said it was because of “public pressure”.
However, in his speech at the SAARC meeting, the home minister is likely to raise the issue of Pakistan’s support to Ibrahim and to terror groups operating in India and ask Islamabad to check Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and other groups based in that country.
Singh is undertaking the visit notwithstanding threat by LeT founder Hafiz Saeed.