#Day 26: Rajnath In Pakistan To Attend SAARC Meet, Not To Discuss Kashmir



Home Ministers from seven SAARC member nations, minus Bangladesh, are meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday for a two-day conclave with regional affairs, terrorism, drugs and human trafficking on the agenda.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) interior ministers meet is being held at a five-star hotel.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is to officially inaugurate the session.

It is expected to be attended by interior ministers from all SAARC states except for Bangladesh, which is sending senior diplomats and officials for the meet.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also attending the conference.

Singh is not to hold a one-on-one with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “There will be no bilateral meeting between the two interior ministers of India and Pakistan,” Union MEA spokesperson said. The spokesperson said in apparent reference to current Kashmir situation.

The SAARC group includes Pakistan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The platform aims to boost ties and cooperation between member states.

Earlier in the day, protests erupted at several places in Pakistan against the arrival of Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Islamabad for the SAARC meeting.

Singh was scheduled to reach Islamabad around 4 pm on a special flight. “Civil society groups and religious organisations staged protests against his visit in Islamabad and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

In Islamabad, the express highway was blocked by a large number of workers of the Hurriyat Conference.

A large number of children and rights activists gathered for a protest at Muzaffarabad Press Club, demanding the Pakistan government should not receive Singh.

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