The two-day sixth Heart of Asia conference, a 40-nation meet, begins in Amritsar on Saturday (today)
The conference will discuss peace, cooperation and economic development in Afghanistan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will inaugurate the conference on Sunday when the declaration will also be adopted. The ministerial deliberations will be co-chaired by Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Afghan foreign minister.
The Pakistani delegation is to be led by the advisor on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz.
According to Foreign Office spokesperson, Pakistan would attend the Heart of Asia Conference due to its commitment to Afghanistan’s peace and stability.
“Despite all negativity, our participation in Heart of Asia conference is quite significant and should be seen as such,” Nafees Zakariya said.
Zakaria also said on Thursday that such meetings “do afford opportunities for meetings on the sidelines. We have said time and again that Pakistan believes in a peaceful neighbourhood, and have always stressed the need for meaningful dialogue as the only viable solution to lasting peace”.
The Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process is being held today which will discuss and finalise the text for the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process. The meeting will also cover all the necessary technical aspects of the declaration for the 6th Ministerial Conference.
The 6th Ministerial Conference will be held tomorrow. This conference will endorse the 6th Ministerial Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Declaration and provide a new direction for the year 2017.
India and Pakistan are among the 14 member countries of the Heart of Asia process, which also includes Turkey, China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia among others. Besides the members, there are more than 20 “supporting countries” including the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway and the European Union.