Despite chill in air, India extends warm hospitality to Sartaj

New Delhi, December 5
Even as Pakistan’s de facto Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz returned from the Heart of Asia Conference in Aitsar, Indian side ensured that the top diplomat is provided “warm hospitality”, including a chance for him to say “Aadab” (hello) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Pakistani side did not hide its hard feelings over the denial of visit to Golden Temple to Pakistan’s foreign policy Advisor, who went back after getting a hard snub from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Conference.
The Pakistani leader was also not obliged by India with a bilateral or pull-aside meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley or NSA Ajit Doval, as was largel
y expected.
“They have no reasons to complain. We were gracious hosts. Extended Tarmac access, gave additional rooms, provided armoured cars (not given to every Foreign Minister) and other conveniences keeping special security requirements in view” an MEA official, closely connected with the arrangements of the Conference, said.
This was done despite last minute change of programme and advancing of arrival in Aitsar by special flight by more than 12 hrs, he said.
” Fresh flight clearance was issued within minutes. Their Head of Delegation could therefore be present in the official dinner and in the call on PM on 3rd,” said the official, confirming that Aziz did call on Modi, but as part of the group only.
“In addition they were actively engaged in the Senior Officials Meeting and the Ministerial and all other requests honoured” the official said. A rare exception was made to allow arrival and departure by air at Aitsar which is not a designated airport for entry and exit for Pakistani nationals, he said.

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