Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived at Islamabad on Wednesday evening as protests against his visit continues in Pakistan. Singh first met Amir Ahmed, Additional Secretary of Pakistan's Interior Minister, ahead of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ministerial meet, reported ANI.
The All-Parties Hurriyat Conference had organised the protest rally hours before the home minister’s arrival in Islamabad. Around 2,000 people joined the march, reported the Associated Press. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader Salahuddin was also spotted at the rally.
Jama’at-ud-Da’wah chief Hafiz Saeed had earlier warned that there would be nationwide protests in Pakistan if Singh attended the two-day meet. Saeed, accused of plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused the minister of "deploying soldiers in Kashmir to shed the blood of innocents", and asked the Nawaz Sharif government to not allow Singh into the country.
Singh, who is the first Indian minister to visit Pakistan after the January 2 terror attack in Punjab, is likely to bring up the Pathankot airbase attack during the SAARC meet. However, according to rules put down by SAARC, member states cannot talk about bilateral issues during summits. He will also push for the implementation of the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism so that perpetrators can be brought to book. According to reports, Singh is also expected to lobby for making the SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk operational.