Didn't go to Pakistan for lunch, says Rajnath as Opposition condemns media gag on his SAARC speech
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday informed Parliament that he had told Pakistan not to glorify terrorism and urged all SAARC nations to respect United Nations ban on terror oufits.
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday informed Parliament that he had told Pakistan not to glorify terrorism and urged all SAARC nations to respect United Nations ban on terror oufits.
Speaking in Parliament, the Home Minister said, ''I conveyed India's concern on terrorism and asked Pakistan to act against terror outfits operating from its backyard. I said there is a need to strongest action not just against the terrorists but also those who support terrorism.''
During SAARC Home Ministers' meet, I urged all members that terrorists should not be glorified nor should they be patronised, Rajnath Singh said in Rajya Sabha.
I told all the dignitaries attending the SAARC meet that terrorism should not be encouraged. Terrorists of a country should not be seen as a 'martyr' by other countries, Singh said in RS.
I also suggested the Pakistani government during the SAARC meet that ban on terror outfits by UN must be respected by all as there is no good or bad terrorism, Singh informed the lawmakers.
Rajnath Singh, who returned home yesterday after attending the seventh SAARC Home Ministers conference, also replied to various queries of the Rajya Sabha MPs regarding the alleged mistreatment given to him there.
He admitted that there was an apparent media boycott of his speech and that the Pakistani established failed to respect the protocol and the laid norms.
It is true that Doordarshan, ANI and PTI reporters who had come from India were not allowed to enter the SAARC meet venue, Singh said while Rajya Sabha MPs shouted 'Shame'.
I did not register any protest there. About the 'blackout' I will need to ask MEA about protocol of past occasions, he added.
Pakistan Interior Minister had invited everyone for lunch, but then he left in his car. I also left then. I hold no grudges as I wasn't there to have lunch, Singh said.
I will not comment whether Pakistan was right or wrong in not allowing coverage of his speech at SAARC summit, he stated. All our PMs have done their best to improve relations with our neighbours but the problem is "yeh padosi hai ki maanta hi nahi hai", he said amid laughter in Rajya Sabha.
He also thanked the lawmakers for their overwhelming support to him regarding his Pakistan visit. He further added that the ongoing protests did not deter him from speaking tough on terror in Pakistan.
However, a united opposition, which appreciated the Home Minister for taking a tough stand on terror, also condemned Pakistan for not following the protocol and its reported boycott of Singh's speech there.
We all saw how Pakistan failed to maintain protocol and how it treated Home Minister, we are one in condemning it, said Sharad Yadav.
Evading media pressure, Singh had yesterday said that he had placed India's point of view across Pakistan, adding all information can be gathered from his speech which is now in the public domain.
The Home Minister had also yesterday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his visit to Pakistan.
During his terse speech, Singh launched a veiled attack on Pakistan, saying mere condemnation of terrorism and individual acts by terrorists was not enough.
He categorically stated that there is no good or bad terrorist. Singh said that strongest action should be initiated not only against terrorists but also against organizations, individuals and nations supporting terror. However, Singh's speech during the meet was blacked out. Members of the Indian media, who had come from New Delhi to report on the conference, were not allowed to cover the speech.
Some reports said that there was an aggressive verbal exchange between officials of the two sides over the issue. Only Pakistan state PTV was allowed to cover introductory speeches of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan.
However, government sources later described the reports of a 'blackout' of Rajnath Singh's statement during the SAARC ministerial meeting as "misleading".