New Delhi rules out bilateral meetings with Pakistani officials on sidelines of Saarc

Indian foreign ministry says home minister to attend summit only

News Desk July 30, 2016
Narendra Modi (R) speaks with his party’s president Rajnath Singh before releasing their election manifesto. PHOTO: REUTERS

India has ruled out the possibility of any bilateral meetings between its home minister and Pakistani officials on the sidelines of the Saarc ministerial conference on August 4.

India’s Rajnath Singh is likely to travel to Islamabad next week for a one-day meeting of regional home ministers from countries belonging to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc).

Indian home minister to visit Islamabad as tensions flare

On July 28, Pakistan’s Foreign Office hinted at the possibility of a meeting between Rajnath and Pakistani authorities, saying “there is an expectation of meetings on the sidelines on such occasions”.

On Friday, the Indian External Affairs Ministry made it clear there will be no such bilateral meetings when Rajnath travels to Islamabad to attend the Saarc meeting.

MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “Let me categorically state that home minister of India is going for [the] Saarc event. There will be no bilateral meetings with Pakistan.”

Most terrorist attacks in India emanate from Pakistan: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath’s visit will come in the backdrop of growing strains on Pakistan-India ties as tensions flare between the nuclear-armed rivals over unrest in disputed Kashmir.

The Indian minister will be the first high-level official to come to Pakistan since last December, when the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj travelled to Islamabad to attend a regional conference on Afghanistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2016.


سے Shaam (Hanafi) | 6 years ago | Reply Very apt move by India, their attendance shows their maturity and absence of bilateral talks shows India's firm stand against terrorism & it's perpetrators.
whats in the name | 6 years ago | Reply First of all, the talks on the sidelines is a joke....but the photos hopping incident is certainly cheap journalism....
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