bad host

Rajnath skips lunch as Pak interior minister goes home instead of playing host

PTI8_4_2016_000062B Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with the Indian delegation attending the first working session of SAARC Home Ministers' Conference 2016 in Islamabad on Thursday | PTI Photo

Pakistan's reluctance as host prompted Home Minister Rajnath Singh to refuse its hospitality during his first visit to Islamabad for the SAARC home ministers' conference held on Thursday.

Rajnath will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his arrival in Delhi to apprise him of his Islamabad visit.

Government sources said that after the first session of the SAARC meet, the Pakistani interior minister was supposed to play host for lunch, which was filled with Pakistani delicacies. Instead, he went home, which prompted the Indian delegation, too, to skip the lunch in Islamabad.

The Indian high commissioner and his team attended the second session, the sources said.

THE WEEK had earlier reported that the home minister was not keen to enjoy the hospitality of the Pakistan government and he had planned to leave for India the same day after the multilateral meet.

The Indian government was also not in favour of bilateral talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the SAARC.

READ: No bilateral talks during Rajnath's one-day visit to Pakistan

Singh's tough talk has ruffled feathers in the Pakistani security establishment, which has felt the heat after the home minister minced no words at the SAARC meet criticising the rising threat of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan and the state support enjoyed by terrorists like Hafiz Saeed.

Pakistan government was left red-faced after it felt the pressure from its military establishment, which was watching closely the tough stance taken by the Indian delegation led by Singh.

While the bad host theory is very likely to cause some diplomatic embarrassment for the Pakistan government, sources in the Indian home ministry said that Singh's handled the situation well as his actions only underlined India's tough stance on terror.

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