India rejects Sartaj Aziz’s accusations; we were gracious host, says government

India has rejected the allegations levelled by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor Sartaj Aziz that restrictions were put on him during his visit to Amritsar for the Heart of Asia conference.

The government sources said that India was ‘gracious’ in hosting Sartaj Aziz, who was extended all the facilities for the trip. There was no reason for Sartaj Aziz to complain.

Pakistan has claimed that during Sartaj Aziz’s visit to Amritsar, restrictions were put on his movement and that he was not allowed to speak to media

EXCEPTIONAL TREATMENT TO AZIZ

In response the government sources said that a rare exception was made to allow arrival and departure of Aziz by air at Amritsar which is not a designated port for entry and exit of Pakistani nationals.

Sartaj Aziz, who led the Pakistani delegation, was also given swift clearance despite a last minute change in his scheduled arrival by a special flight, the sources maintained.

AZIZ’S ALLEGATIONS

In a hurriedly called press conference after his return from Amritsar last night, Aziz had accused India of not treating the Pakistani media properly at the Heart of Asia meeting and said he was not allowed to have a press conference.

“The attitude towards media was not good. I wanted to have press interaction with our own media. But we were not allowed,” he alleged.

Earlier on Sunday, Pakistan had also claimed that Aziz was not allowed to visit the Golden Temple and speak to Pakistani media at the hotel where he was staying even as India said it was done considering his security.

NDIA’S REPLY

“They have no reasons to complain. We were gracious hosts. Extended tarmac access, gave additional rooms, provided armoured cars (not given to every Foreign Minister) and other conveniences keeping special security requirements in view,” the sources said.

“This was done despite the last minute change of programme and advancing of arrival in Amritsar by special flight by more than 12 hours. Fresh flight clearance was issued within minutes,” the sources said.

They said Aziz could be present in the official dinner and in the call on Prime Minister on the evening of October 3 due to the last minute clearance given.

“In addition, they were actively engaged in the Senior Officials Meeting and Ministerial and all other requests honoured. A rare exception was made to allow arrival and departure by air at Amritsar which is not a designated airport for entry and exit for Pakistani nationals,” they said.

Source: India Today

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