We were gracious host, Aziz has no reason to complain: Govt
As a "gracious host", India extended all facilities to Sartaj Aziz for his trip here to attend the Heart of Asia conference and there was no reason to complain, government sources said today, a day after Pakistan claimed that restrictions were put on his movement and he was not allowed speak to media.
The sources also said a rare exception was made to allow arrival and departure of Aziz, who led the Pakistani delegation, by air at Amritsar which is not a designated port for entry and exit of Pakistani nationals, besides giving swift clearance despite a last minute change in his scheduled arrival by a special flight.
"The attitude towards media was not good. I wanted to have press interaction with our own media. But we were not allowed," he alleged.
Yesterday, 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.
"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.
"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.
Aziz was scheduled to arrive here on Sunday but came a day early for the conference due to prevailing weather condition. Almost the entire northern India has been affected by thick cover of fog for the last two days, delaying flights and trains services.