As Pakistan’s Foreign Advisor, a close aide of PM Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz is all set to attent Heart of Asia (HoA) conference in Amritsar, the neighbouring country has informed India that it is ready to hold biletral talks but want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step-up first. Talking to India Today Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said, “As a host, if India approaches us with a proposal (for talks on the sidelines), Pakistan will positively consider it.” However, none of the two has approached each other in this regard so far.
The HoA conference will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and will see participation of over 40 countries. Aziz’s visit would be the first high-level visit from Pakistan after the announcement of Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) in December last year which never took off in the wake of terror strikes, including the Pathankot airbase attack by Pakistan-based terror groups in January this year, and subsequent incidents which led to intense tension between the two countries.
Basit also asserted that talks are the only solution to tension between two counries. “We can delay talks for months or even for years. But ultimately, a solution to the problems between India and Pakistan can only come through dialogue, and therefore, both nations must sit and discuss all the issues that confront them,” he said.