A day after his visit to Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh confirmed in a statement in the Rajya Sabha that Indian journalists accompanying him were not allowed to cover his speech at the SAARC summit. But he added that he was not aware of the protocol norms followed during previous events.
“As far as the reported blacking out of my speech is concerned, I am not aware of protocol norms followed during previous events. I will have to speak to the Ministry of External Affairs. I don’t know if it was a precedent. I cannot say anything on that, but they did what they could,” he said.
Members of Parliament condemned Pakistan’s move of blacking out the Home Minister’s address and said they took strong exception to it.
Singh also said he cancelled the luncheon meeting as he had not gone there to have lunch.
“It is true that Pakistan Interior Minister (Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan) invited everyone for lunch. But then he left in his car. I also left. I have no complaints or grudges as I had not gone there to have lunch,” Singh said.
The Home Minister reiterated in both Houses of Parliament that there should be no ‘glorification’ or patronising of terrorists.
“I took a strong stand against terrorism at the SAARC meeting. I requested all member countries not to glorify terrorists or treat them as freedom fighters,” Singh said. In a veiled jibe at Pakistan, Singh said there be no distinction between good and bad terrorists and asked for international sanctions to be respected.