Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unlikely to attend SAARC meet in Islamabad

The conference is scheduled on August 25-26 in Islamabad. Pakistan's FM had recently said the country would play the role of a "good host".

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: August 16, 2016 6:43 pm
SAARC meet, Arun JAITLEY, Islamabad SAARC meet, Saarc Arun JAITLEY, SAARC, SAARC meet, SAARC islamabad, Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Pakistan, Pakistan Saarc Due to political reasons Arun Jaitley puts hold on his visit to Islamabad. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is unlikely to visit Pakistan to attend the two-day conference of SAARC Finance Ministers later this month mainly due to “political reasons”. The conference is scheduled on August 25-26 in Islamabad.

“It is due to political reasons that the Finance Minister may not visit Pakistan. You all know what happened last time and what is happening,” highly placed sources said, referring to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Islamabad earlier this month, which was also for a SAARC Ministerial meeting.

Barbs were exchanged between Singh and Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who only had a tense and uneasy handshake during the SAARC meeting.

Pakistani authorities did not allow entry of Indian mediapersons, including those from PTI and Doordarshan, inside the venue of 7th SAARC Home Ministers Meeting in Islamabad.

Singh had informed Rajya Sabha that after the meeting was over, Pakistan’s Home Minister, who was the host, invited the participants for lunch but left in a car soon thereafter.

“Keeping in mind the country’s prestige, I did what I should have done. I have no complaints. I had not gone there for lunch,” he had said.

That apart, in his Independence Day address to the nation yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India will not bow before terrorism, and also brought up Pakistani atrocities on people of Baluchistan and PoK, saying that they have thanked him for doing so.

Also read: Pakistan to accord ‘warm welcome’ to Arun Jaitley at SAARC meet

Though Modi did not make any reference to Kashmir valley which is witnessing violence after the killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani, he accused Pakistan of glorifying terrorists and celebrating killings in India.

Pakistan’s Finance Ministry in a recent statement had said the country would play the role of a “good host” and try to keep the overall ambiance positive.

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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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  1. D
    Aug 16, 2016 at 11:27 pm
    Who the FK is bothered if he visits or not.
    1. M
      Aug 16, 2016 at 7:45 pm
      Another option is to hold the meeting teleconferencing. stan is a not safe country for any civilised person when known terrorists are giving lectures to its Army (send troops to Kashmir)!!
      1. M
        Aug 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm
        If India has to, send Ajit Doval to represent India. lt;br/gt;Alternative just skip it, nothing will come out of it!
        1. Arun Prakash
          Aug 16, 2016 at 1:30 pm
          All Nations, Use your Sense. When just playing International Cricket matches itself is banned in stan, how come SAARC is allowed to happen. Stop everything until stan stops its rage Politics.
          1. C
            Aug 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm
            Not a single country allows stani’s entry without VISA. VISA is denied when applied-for, unless some well known person of 3rd country recommends. Importantly, USA VISA is immediately given for Ex. National leaders of all countries, even when applied from any 3rd country. Recently mushraff, who had buddy buddy relation with Bush, applied, but he was asked to apply from his country of origin stan. But there is an arrest warrant waiting in stan. Ha Ha Ha Ha. This is the standard of stan’s relation around the world.
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