New Delhi: India on Thursday described the reports of a 'blackout' of Rajnath Singh's statement during the SAARC ministerial meeting as "misleading", hours after the Home Minister arrived back in New Delhi after skipping a lunch hosted by Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
"With reference to the Home Ministers meeting in Islamabad earlier today, media reports of a 'blackout' of our Home Minister's statement are misleading.”
"It is the standard SAARC practice that the opening statement by the host country is public and open to the media while the rest of the proceedings are in the camera, which allows for a full and frank discussion of issues," a government source said.
The reaction came after there were reports that Rajnath Singh's speech was reportedly blacked out as media organisations were not allowed to cover the seventh SAARC Home/Interior Ministers' conference.
State-owned Pakistan Television was the only broadcaster allowed inside the venue.
Meanwhile, in Islamabad, an Interior Ministry official also said that there was no such blackout of Rajnath's speech as none of the speeches of participating ministers was shown.
"It is true that his (Rajnath's) speech was not shown live because (the) speech(es) of none of the participating ministers was shown live by the state media."
He said only the inaugural session was shown live when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan made welcome speeches.
The official said Singh was not discriminated at all by the state media and he was given full official protocol.
(With PTI inputs)