NEW DELHI: Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday for bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar and to attend the senior officials meeting of the ‘Heart of Asia’-Istanbul process conference.
Foreign Secretary Chaudhary was received by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
He later went to South Block to meet Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
India- Pakistan talk process was temporarily halted after the Pathankot attack and Pak envoy to India, Abdul Basit later said that talks have been suspended between the two countries. Hence today’s meeting in the sidelines of the conference is likely to serve as a ice-breaker in the on off relationship between the two countries.
India is expected raise the issue of investigation the Pathankot attack, apart from discussing modalities of resuming the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD)
The foreign ministers of both the nation had met during SAARC summit in Nepal in November last year.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process is 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.
Pakistan and Afghanistan jointly hosted the fifth ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial meeting in December 2015. The conference adopted a forward looking Islamabad Declaration entitled “Emphasizing Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Regional Connectivity”.
It is being speculated that Pakistan’s agenda for the forthcoming event is promotion of long term peace and stability in Afghanistan. The Pakistan delegation is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending the meeting.
According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office, since its inception in 2011, Pakistan has continued to play an active role in the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process.
With agency inputs
The Pak High Commissioner has explained what happened in the meeting.
Abdul Basit said, ” All outstanding issues including J&K dispute were discussed,the FS emphasized Kashmir remains core issue that requires a just solution,in accordance with UNSC resolutions and wishes of Kashmiris”.
Congress leader Anand Sharma has reacted to today’s meeting of Foreign Secretaries of both countries saying that the party is not against talks but there needs to be a coherent policy and direction.
Shiv Sena has completely undermined the importance of the meeting saying that the end result is known and the talks are going to be futile.