1. Heart of Asia conference: India, Pakistan to come together in Amritsar to focus on future of Afghanistan

Heart of Asia conference: India, Pakistan to come together in Amritsar to focus on future of Afghanistan

Amid tensions between India and Pakistan after the surgical strikes in the wake of Uri attack by Pakistani terrorists, Pakistan has decided to attend the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar in December this year.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: October 27, 2016 6:54 PM
Aziz, advisor on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said Pakistan will participate in the regional meet to be held in Amritsar during December 3-4. (Reuters) Aziz, advisor on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said Pakistan will participate in the regional meet to be held in Amritsar during December 3-4. (Reuters)

Amid tensions between India and Pakistan after the surgical strikes in the wake of Uri attack by Pakistani terrorists, Pakistan has decided to attend the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar in December this year. Pakistan’s foreign minister Sartaj Aziz confirmed early this week about Pakistan’s decision to attend the conference, which is focused on the future of Afghanistan.

Aziz, advisor on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said Pakistan will participate in the regional meet to be held in Amritsar during December 3-4. “Pakistan will continue to attend all international forums,” he was quoted as saying by Geo News channel. According to sources, as things stand, the Pakistan High Commission will be attending the conference on behalf of the Pakistan government. But a political call will be taken closer to the date on whether officials or ministers from Pakistan will attend, Pakistan diplomatic sources said.

While the decision by Islamabad comes in the wake of the Indian diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan, New Delhi feels that Pakistan would have found it difficult to stay out of the Heart of Asia conference since it has political stakes in Afghanistan. “It doesn’t want to be left out,” Indian government sources said. From the Indian side, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to host the conference.

It may be mentioned here that with Afghanistan joined India in pulling out of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad, as it is quite disappointed with Pakistan over the Taliban reconciliation process.

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