A day after the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that Home Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Pakistan for a SAARC meeting, the ministry has clarified that the Home Minister will not hold bilateral talks with the Pakistani leadership.
Rajnath is scheduled to travel to Islamabad on August 4 to attend the SAARC ministerial conference.
“Let me categorically state that @Home Minister of India is going for SAARC event. There will be no bilateral meetings with Pakistan,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
MEA’s clarification comes after there was speculation that Singh would hold a bilateral meet with the Pakistani leadership.
Rajnath’s visit to Pakistan comes amidst growing tension between India and Pakistan over unrest in Kashmir valley.
India has blamed Pakistan for stoking tension in the Kashmir valley which witnessed a series of protests that has killed more than 48 people. The protests followed after Indian security forces killed Burhan Wani, a commander of the terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.
Post Wani’s killing, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made provocative statements which infuriated India.
Sharif not only praised Wani, but also said that “Kashmir will one day become Pakistan”. Pakistan also observed a black day to protest against Wani’s killing.
However during Rajnath’s visit, he is expected to raise the issue of cross-border terrorism at the meeting.
Eight countries are expected to participate in the two day meet in Islamabad where Rajnath will be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and several other senior officers of the Home Ministry.
(With inputs from PTI)