Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will jointly inaugurate the sixth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Amritsar today. The Conference will discuss peace, cooperation and economic development in Afghanistan. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Addressing Challenges, Achieving Prosperity’.
At the Ministerial Conference, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will lead the Indian delegation in place of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who is unwell. Heart of Asia process was launched in 2011 from Istanbul. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the event in Amritsar.
Eleven Companies of Para Military forces and more than five thousand policemen have been deployed in the city to ensure smooth conduct of the conference. Yesterday, senior officials of the Heart of Asia process discussed finalising the Amritsar Declaration and adopting the Regional Counter Terrorism Framework drafted by Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai chaired the meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar. Senior officials of all 14 countries and representatives of 17 supporting nations deliberated on a vast range of issues including strategies for eliminating terrorism and enhancing Afghanistan’s connectivity and trade.