Sartaj Aziz to attend Heart of Asia Conference in India


ISLAMABAD (Parliament Times) Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that he would travel to India to attend the Heart of Asia Conference in December, asserting that his visit could be a “good opportunity” to “defuse the tension” between India and Pakistan.

The conference is scheduled to be held in India on 3 December in Amritsar.

Aziz would be the first senior Pakistani official to visit India since the 18 September Uri attack, blamed on Pakistan-based militants, that led India to pull out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit in Pakistan in November.

“Unlike India, that had sabotaged Saarc summit in Pakistan by pulling out, Pakistan will respond by participating in the Heart of Asia being held in India,” Aziz told the media.

“It’s a good opportunity to defuse the tension,” PTV quoted Aziz as saying.

Aziz, however, said it has not been confirmed yet whether he will meet his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the conference or not.

The first Heart of Asia conference was held in Kabul in 2012, the second in Almaty in 2013, the third in Beijing in 2014 and the fourth was held in Islamabad in December 2015.