Rajnath in Pakistan: Nawaz rakes up Kashmir, terror groups protest
Home Minister Rajnath Singh is in Islamabad for the two-day SAARC conclave on terrorism, drugs and human trafficking. The visit so far has been headlined first by a number of terror groups protesting against Rajnath's visit, and later by Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's controversial remarks on Kashmir.
Inaugurating the SAARC Interior Ministers' Conference today, Sharif, however, struck a cordial note, calling for greater cooperation between the member countries.
Here are the latest updates:
Home Ministers from seven SAARC countries, minus Bangladesh, are meeting in Islamabad for a two-day conclave with regional affairs, terrorism, drugs and human trafficking on the agenda.
India has denied there will be any bilateral meeting between India and Pakistan during Rajnath's visit.
The Home Minister, therefore, will not be holding a one-on-one with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Upping the ante before the conference, Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday evening said Kashmir was witnessing a "new wave of freedom movement" and "not an internal matter" of India.
"The resolution of the lingering dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people is the corner stone of Pakistan's foreign policy," Sharif said at another event on Wednesday.
As Rajnath reached Islamabad on Wednesday, thousands of activists of various religious and jihadi outfits led by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed protested across different Pakistani cities against his visit.
Activists of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Hizbul Mujahideen, United Jihad Council (UJC) and other such group protested to denounce Singh's trip.
Earlier, Saeed had warned that Rajnath Singh's presence in Islamabad may create "unrest" among Kashmiris as well as Pakistanis in the face of scores of killings in Kashmir.
More than 50 people have been killed and over 3,000 wounded in the current bout of violence in Jammu and Kashmir following the killing of Burhan Wani, a commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
Wani has been declared a "martyr" by Islamabad while India has branded him a "terrorist".