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Pak FS to visit India for ‘Heart of Asia’ meeting

PAKISATN

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry will visit India tomorrow to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ regional conference where he will meet with his Indian counterpart after bilateral talks were derailed following the Pathankot terror attack.

The Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement here that the Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process will be held in New Delhi on April 26.

Pak FS to visit India “Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry will lead the Pakistan delegation to this meeting,” it said. In New Delhi, government sources said Chaudhry will also have a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart S Jaishanker.

The Foreign Office said Pakistan looks forward to active participation in the forthcoming Heart of Asia meeting, reflecting “our commitment to efforts for promoting long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan”.

It said that Pakistan delegation will also hold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending the meeting.

Pakistan has continued to play an active role in the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, which was established in 2011 as a platform to discuss regional issues including security, economic cooperation and connectivity among Afghanistan, its neighbours and regional countries with a view to promote lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, the Foreign Office statement said.

Pakistan had hosted the fifth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Islamabad on December 9, 2015. The conference had adopted a forward looking Islamabad Declaration entitled ‘Emphasising Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Regional Connectivity’.

The efforts to resume the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue at the Foreign Secretary-level hit a deadlock after the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase in January that India said was carried out by militants from the Pakistan- based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group.

PTI

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