Arun Jaitley unlikely to attend Saarc meet in Islamabad

NEW DELHI (TIP): 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 to 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’s 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.

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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.m “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 on Monday, 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.

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