Thu, Feb 23, 2017 | updated 10:20 AM IST

No media coverage for Rajnath's speech at SAARC conference in Pakistan

Updated: Aug 04, 2016 15:33 IST

Islamabad, Aug 4 (ANI): In a surprising development, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's speech during the seventh SAARC Home Ministers meeting held here was blacked out.

Members of the Indian media, who had come from New Delhi to report on the conference, were not allowed to cover the speech. They were reportedly kept at a distance by Pakistani officials, which led to a verbal dual between officials of the two sides. Only Pakistan state PTV was allowed to cover introductory speeches of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan. Even private Pakistani media not allowed to cover the event.

As per reports, the Indian Home Minister has left for Islamabad Airport to return to New Delhi. Media reports also said that his scheduled news conference at Delhi airport has been cancelled.

During his terse speech, Singh launched a veiled attack on Pakistan, saying mere condemnation of terrorism and individual acts by terrorists was not enough as far as New Delhi was concerned. He said that as far as the Indian government was concerned, there could be no distinction made between a " good terrorist" or a "bad terrorist".

Singh said there should be the strongest of action not only against terrorists but also against organizations, individuals and nations who support terror.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhary Ali Nisar Khan, was also conspicuous by his absence at a lunch hosted for the SAARC Home Ministers. Rajnath also did not attend the lunch.

The ongoing strain in Indo-Pak relations was evident when Singh came face- to-face with Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan for the first time today. The two leaders barely shook hands at the entrance of the venue of the conference at the posh Serena Hotel.

Singh arrived in Islamabad yesterday amid protests by supporters of the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Harkat ul Mujahideen. The protests were held at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the National Assembly. Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin was also present during the protests. (ANI)

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