As tensions mount between the two neighbouring nations amid violence in Kashmir Valley following the killing of Burhan Wani's death that India accuses Pakistan of having stoked, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will travel to Pakistan for the SAARC Interior and Home Ministers conference on August 3. This will be the first visit by a senior Indian leader to Islamabad following the terror strike on the Pathankot air base.
During the visit, apart from attending the SAARC conference, Singh is likely to have bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other SAARC member-countries, including Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Singh will be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and several other senior officers of his Ministry.
Key issues like fight against terrorism, illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and small arms and how to make coordinated and concerted efforts to combat such menace will figure in the forthcoming meeting.
Singh’s visit to Pakistan also assumes significance in the backdrop of violence and tension in Kashmir after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s death. India has blamed Pakistan for trying to create unrest in the Valley.
The three-tier meeting will begin at the joint secretary-level and then move on to Secretary and Home Minister-level meetings.
The meeting will also focus on strengthening networking among police authorities of SAARC member-countries and also enhance information-sharing among law enforcement agencies.
The last meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers' conference was held in Kathmandu in 2014 when the Home Minister had said that member-nations of the group were facing common challenges and they should cooperate with each other to address them.
Singh had said that India was committed to reviving the grouping as a major forum to promote active regional collaboration.
The Home Minister had also voiced concern over the new threats of terrorism and violence to South Asia especially and asked SAARC countries to chalk out strategies to check radical groups and extremist ideologies.