New Delhi, Aug 5: "I was not in Pakistan to have lunch. Pakistan's interior minister had invited all of us for lunch, but then he got into his car and left. I left too." This is what Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister said at the Rajya Sabha on Friday, while explaining his Islamabad trip where he attended the SAARC ministerial conference.
The Rajya Sabha on Friday stood united as Singh made a passionate speech about his Pakistan visit. When he spoke about the blackout of his speech at the conference on Thursday, the members of the house shouted, "SHAME."
Singh was in Islamabad on August 3 and 4 for the SAARC conference. Upon his arrival in Pakistan, he was greeted by protests which forced him to take a chopper to his hotel room.
At the conference his speech was not covered as Pakistan did not allow any media coverage. There were also reports of how Singh and the interior minister of Pakistan, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan barely shook hands.
A lunch organised by Khan was skipped by both the host and Singh.
Yeh padosi hai ki maanta nahin
Singh during his speech at the Rajya Sabha took a dig at Pakistan by saying, "Yeh padosi hai ki maanta nahin (This neighbour does not agree). All prime ministers irrespective of party have done their best to improve relations with Pakistan. But then this neighbour does not seem to understand or agree, he said.
On the black out of his speech, he said that, "It is true that the Doordarshan, ANI and PTI reporters were not allowed to enter the conference hall."
I do not want to comment whether Pakistan was right or wrong: Rajnath
"I do not want to comment whether Pakistan was right or wrong in not allowing the media coverage. I don't know what the protocol in such matters is. I will ask the Ministry of External Affairs about this. I did not register any protest in Pakistan on this issue," he added.
Singh also took a moment to thank the members of the House who have stood united in their fight against terrorism. "I appreciate the unity of the House on this issue and this reflects our determination to fight the menace," he said.
All the members have spoken in one voice and I have no hesitation in saying that Prime Ministers irrespective of party have shown determination in fighting terrorism, Singh also said.
Highlights of Rajnath's speech
- I was not in Pakistan to have lunch.
- Rajya Sabha says Shame on blackout of Singh's speech.
- Yeh padosi hai ki maanta nahin.
- Prime Ministers irrespective of party have tried improving relations with Pakistan.