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Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh arrives in Islamabad to attend SAARC Conference

ISLAMABAD: Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday arrived in Islamabad to attend South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting of Home/Interior Ministers.

He was welcomed by Director General SAARC, Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Gautam Bambawale and other senior officials.

“Leaving for Islamabad to attend the SAARC HM Conference. This Conference provides a platform to discuss issues pertaining to security,” Singh wrote on his official Twitter account before his departure.

“Looking forward to underscore the imperative of meaningful cooperation within the region against terrorism and organised crime,” he added.

According to Indian home ministry, Singh would raise Pathankot and 26/11 attacks on Indian soil during his address at the conference.

“Singh would stress on the need for member states to cut off terror sponsors and take urgent action against ‘state actors’ that aid and support global terror, without any straight reference to Pakistan,” said the ministry.


SAARC Conference started on Tuesday in Islamabad on the sidelines of which the interior ministers of Pakistan and India are expected to meet amid mounting tension over Kashmir.

Interior ministers and other delegates of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka are also attending the 3-day gathering.

Interior minister-level talks would be held on August 4 following which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would address the ending session of the most important South-Asian meet.

Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Office had said that Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan would meet the Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the sidelines of the Conference.

“The interior ministers of Pakistan and India are expected to meet amid rising tensions over Kashmir,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said, adding that it will be the first meeting between the two.

However, Indian government officials claim that Singh will not have a separate meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

The infamous Pathankot attack in India spoiled the efforts for normalising bilateral relations between both countries. India had also blamed Pakistan for organising Mumbai attacks in 2008 that left over 166 people dead.


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.