Arun Jaitley's absence in SAARC conference will not matter: Pakistan finance minister

Sources had earlier confirmed that Jaitley will skip the conference due to the ongoing tensions between the two countries over the unrest in Kashmir. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Islamabad, Pakistan Aug 28, 2016, 06.19 PM (IST)
Islamabad today (August 28) said the absence of India's finance minister Arun Jaitley for the South Asian association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) finance ministers' conference hardly matters. 

The statement came from Pakistan's finance minister Ishaq Dar. 

"India's (finance minister's) absence hardly matters," he said after the conclusion of eighth SAARC finance ministers' conference. 

"Individuals do not matter, countries do," he added hastily after making the statement, reported the Express Tribune.

Sources on August 24 confirmed that Jaitley will skip the conference in the wake of ongoing tensions between the two neighbouring countries over the unrest in Kashmir. 

India's finance secretary Shashikant Das attended the meet.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives also did not send their finance ministers to the eight-member countries meet. Either their deputy ministers or bureaucrats represented the countries instead. 

Afghanistan's finance minister cancelled his visit due to the attack on the American University in Kabul that happened on August 24. 

Kabul's ambassador in Islamabad, Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, represented his country at the conference.

Indian home minister Rajnath Singh had attended the SAARC interior ministers meeting earlier in August. 

(WION with inputs from ANI)