In a last minute change in schedule, Pakistan’s foreign secratary Sartaz Aziz’s visit to Amritsar for Heart Of Asia summit has been pre-poned by a day. The Pakistan NSA, who was scheduled to arrive on Sunday, will now come to India by Saturday evening. Aziz’s participation in HOA comes amid escalating tension between Pakistan and India. By now, there is no confirmation as to whether the two countries will engage in bilateral talks on the sidelines of the event even though New Delhi has denied any offer for talks.
The Dawn reported that Aziz will lead Pakistani delegation to the of the process that focuses on regional cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours. Earlier, ending doubts on his participation, Pakistan has decided to send its foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, for the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar on December 3-4.
This would be the first ministerial-level visit of Aziz as the de facto Foreign Affairs, from the neighbouring country after the Pathankot attack in January discontinued bilateral dialogue process between the two nations. The relations between the country’s fell sharply after India’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads along the Line of Control following the Uri attack and the daily exchange of fire by troops on either side.
Even while Pakistan had earlier confirmed of it attending Amritsar conference, the decision to send Aziz is considered important, a ‘The Indian Express’ report has said. Pakistan public broadcaster PTV quoted Aziz saying that unlike India, which had sabotaged the SAARC summit in Pakistan by deciding to boycott it, Pakistan will respond by participating in the Heart of Asia being held in India.