Jaitley not to attend SAARC Finance Ministers' conference in Pakistan

| Updated: Aug 16, 2016 18:48 IST

New Delhi, Aug 16 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will not be attending the SAARC Finance Ministers' conference scheduled to take place in Pakistan. As per government sources, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das will represent India at the two-day event to be hosted in Islamabad from August 25-26. Earlier, media reports from Pakistan claimed that the country had decided to give a "warm welcome" to Jaitley amid speculation that he was likely to visit Islamabad for the conference. The conference is taking place weeks after the SAARC Home Ministers' conference that was held last month. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had taken part in the conference where he called for tough action against terrorism and countries supporting it, saying terrorists should not be glorified as "martyrs". Pakistan blocked news media organizations from covering Rajnath Singh's speech which received bipartisan condemnation in Parliament. "I did not see whether my speech was covered live or not. The media personnel from DD, ANI and PTI reporters who had come from India were not allowed to enter," Singh had said in Parliament. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Finance Ministry officials have said that almost all regional countries except Bangladesh have confirmed their participation in the conference. (ANI)