PR No. 131 Islamabad

Veteran politicians and former diplomats have strongly criticized Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s deviation from SAARC agenda and his attempt to turn regional forum into “South Asian Association for Regional Confrontation” which gave a diplomatic victory to Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Sanity seems to be setting in, since Rajnath is being questioned at his home for his tirade against Pakistan at the regional moot indicating Rajnath’s grey areas and questioned being raised for his diplomatic sense.

Prominent former Indian parliamentarian Mani Shankar Aiyar in a recent article published by NDTV on its website titled “How Rajnath Singh’s Visit Has Given Pak The Clear Upper Hand,” bashed India’s Number.2 – Mr.Rajnath, for his diplomatic disappointment.

The former Indian MP credited Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for skillfully using SAARC platform presenting Pakistan’s point of view to the regional countries and the world over Kashmir’s freedom movement, Pakistan’s war against terrorism, and dialogue with India in response to Rajnath’s engineered rhetoric aimed at Pakistan.

In its article Mani Shankar Aiyar remarked “Kudos to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on having transformed SAARC into the ‘South Asian Association for Regional Confrontation.”

Mr. Aiyar further mentioned Rajnath’s poor show in Saarc saying: “He had no constructive aims. He only wanted to show naive and impressionable Indian saffronites that he had the chutzpah to tick off the Pakistanis on their own soil. That may have won him some brownie points at home, but no one else was impressed.”

The Indian writer pointed out how Pakistan’s Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan presented Pakistan’s point of view at the SAARC forum saying: “What is really unfortunate for us, however, is that what Nisar Ali Khan had said in response (to Rajnath speech) that: “violence against freedom fighters in a disputed territory under Indian occupation is state-sponsored.”

The former Indian diplomat also a writer of book “Mani Shankar Aiyar’s Pakistan Papers”, asked that “Did India really want its partners in SAARC to hear such language directed at India?”

Declaring it a diplomatic success for Pakistan, the writer mentioned Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s strategic depth on the subject asking “do we (India) really want to hear the Pakistani Interior Minister telling SAARC and the whole world that “Pakistan is ready to engage in any dialogue process based on mutual respect and dignity with no strings attached?”

Mr. Aiyar added that Rajnath’s fable in Pakistan also prompted US to side by Pakistan where the US State Department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner clearly maintaining:  “We advocate for closer cooperation, certainly, between India and Pakistan to deal with the terrorist threat in both countries”.



The writer asserted that how Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s stance was also backed by the US, adding: “If that isn’t one in the eye for India, I would like to know what is. Rajnath’s position has been repudiated and Nisar Ali’s view has been reflected in the US State Department’s reaction to the SAARC Home Ministers’ meeting. Toner went on to make things even more explicit: “Terrorism is obviously a reality in both countries, and in order to effectively confront it, they need to work together.”

While declaring Indian Home Minister trip to Pakistan unfruitful Mr. Aiyar maintained that US has even barely backed India despite Rajnath’s effort to pitch India’s point of view through a SAARC summit.