New Delhi: On Friday, Home minister Rajnath Singh said in Rajya Sabha that the authorities of Pakistan did not allow entry of Indian media persons inside the venue of 7th SAARC Home Ministers Meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Pakistani authorities also did not allow the PTI and Doordarshan inside the venue.
Several members had appreciated Rajnath Singh for “boycotting” the lunch and criticised Pakistan for not showing due courtesy to the visiting Indian Home Minister.
Home Minister Singh said that Since I was giving speech, I did not know whether it was live telecast or not. But this is true that PTI, ANI and Doordarshan reporters were not given permission to enter inside the venue.
The members of Rajya Sabha also criticised Pakistan for allowing protest against India and the visit of Singh and over the black out of media.
The Minister said that according to the original plan, he had to reach the hotel by road from Rawalpindi airbase, but it changed later and security officers decided to use helicopter.
Singh said that I saw people were protesting at several places in Pakistan in groups of 10-25 or 100. Rajnath also added that he did not register any protest against these protests in Pakistan.
According to the Reports, said that the Indian media’s members went from New Delhi to Islamabad to report the conference of SAARC, but they were not allowed to enter the venue and kept at a distance by Pakistani officials. This was leading to a verbal duel between a senior Indian official and a Pakistani official.
According to reports that Home Minister Rajnath Singh also skipped the official lunch as the host had left the venue.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh recalled former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statement that one can change friends but not neighbours. Singh also said that PM Modi and Former PM Manmohan Singh have expressed sympathy with Pakistan as it too has been a “victim of terror”.
Singh said that all Prime Ministers have made efforts to improve relations with neighbours, but the dilemma is…padosi hai ki maanta hi nahi… May God give sense to all.
Seeking clarification on Rajnath Singh’s statement, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that his Congress party and ruling BJP party may have differences, but when the Prime Minister or the Home Minister travel abroad, they are one.
Asked whether paramilitary forces should be given a free hand to deal with terrorists, the Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that Border Security Force has been asked to maintain patience, but if a bullet is fired, then BSF does not need to seek permission for how they have to respond. This is the standing order.
All members in the Rajya Sabha who spoke in the House appreciated Rajnath Singh for his bold statement in Pakistan at the venue of SAARC meeting.
SP party leader Ram Gopal Yadav suggested that BSF should be given free hand to deal with terrorists at borders.
Senior leader of JD(U) Sharad Yadav criticised Pakistan for not following protocol while the Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh was visiting there.
AIADMK too criticised Pakistan over the black out of media, while NCP Leader Majeed Menon condemned the Pakistan for allowing the protest against India. He said that It was a good decision to boycott the lunch after the meeting.