Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent visit to Pakistan has been in news given vociferous protests by Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), a front for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
The home minister recently explained why he chose to go to Pakistan despite the recent events in Kashmir and strong protests.
Speaking in Khunti, Jharkhand, he said: “There is no doubt that terrorism receives encouragement from Pakistan. First I thought I would not go (for SAARC meet in Pak) but then I saw reports of terrorist organisations holding protest against my visit in Pak. I told my officials that they are not provoking Rajnath Singh but an Indian representative and now I’ll definitely go for SAARC meet in Pak.”
The home minister said he had been told that 500-600 demonstrations were being held across Pakistan against his visit and he himself saw a couple of them.
The ongoing strain in Indo-Pak relations was evident at the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers’ conference here when Home Minister Rajnath Singh came face- to-face with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan for the first time today and the two leaders barely shook hands.
Rajnath Singh had 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.
He said Pakistan was “encouraging” terrorism, but India would neither allow its “designs” to succeed nor the country’s dignity and self-respect to be compromised on.
India has also bluntly replied to Pakistan’s proposal for talks on J&K, saying the country should first answer on cross-border terrorism and ‘parading’ of terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed.
Earlier, Pakistani Foreign Affairs adviser Sartaz Aziz has said that Pakistan would invite India for a dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir and a Pakistan Foreign Secretary would be writing to his Indian counterpart on the matter.