As all parties in parliament today condemned Pakistan’s poor treatment of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, he confirmed that he had skipped a lunch for SAARC ministers hosted by his Pakistani counterpart.
“It is true that Pakistan Interior Minister (Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan) invited everyone for lunch. But then he left in his car. I also left. I have no complaints or grudges as I had not gone there to have lunch,” Mr Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.
The home minister returned on Thursday after a two-day visit to Islamabad for a SAARC meeting, which was clouded by demonstrations of bitterness from both sides.
Mr Singh and the Pakistani home minister did not even greet each other with a proper handshake as their hands barely touched.
Mr Singh told Rajya Sabha that the Indian media accompanying him was not allowed in during his speech.
“But as far as the reported blacking out of my speech is concerned, I am not aware of protocol norms followed during previous events. I will have to speak to the ministry of external affairs on that. I won’t comment if Pakistan was right or wrong in not allowing the coverage,” he said.
Opposition parties backed the home minister and deplored Islamabad’s conduct.
“The home minister did not receive respect and honour due to him in Pakistan during his visit as per protocol, we condemn it,” said Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Uttar Pradesh politician Mayawati said: “After media reports on the behaviour of Pakistan, I would urge the home minister to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider strategy on India-Pakistan relations.”