Home / Editorial / Heart of Asia 2016

Heart of Asia 2016

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi has said that Pakistan attended the Heart of Asia (HoA) conference in India for lasting peace in the region.Tariq Fatemi said Pakistan attended the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar, India despite the fact that India constantly violating ceasefire on Line of Control (LoC) while Indian forces are committing human right violations in the Occupied Kashmir and over 16,000 Kashmiris were wounded in the past few months.There was a logical opinion in the country that Pakistan should not attend the Heart of Asia Conference because of India’s unrelenting aggressive posture against the country but decision-makers opted otherwise only because the moot was about Afghanistan and Pakistan, which always supported peace and stability there, wanted to contribute its share further by participating in the conference in Amritsar. This was despite the fact that India also spurned Pakistan’s desire and offer to have bilateral talks so as to reduce the on-going tension between the countries. Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz made a friendly and positive speech but regrettably both India and Afghanistan not only levelled direct and baseless allegations against Pakistan but New Delhi went a step further in preventing Aziz from addressing a press conference, an act that goes against all norms of diplomacy and eastern traditions of hospitality. Similar treatment was also meted out to Pakistan High Commissioner when members of Pakistan media team wanted to talk to him. It is now quite obvious that policy of appeasement being followed by Pakistan policy-makers is not paying and instead harming overall image and prestige of the country. Even if participation in Heart of Asia was important to lend further credibility to Pakistan’s firm resolve to see peace in the neighbouring country it is beyond comprehension as to why Sartaj Aziz dashed to Amritsar through a special flight a day earlier just to attend the dinner. Both India and Afghanistan are colluding in maligning Pakistan and they have been misusing regional platforms for the purpose. Pakistan should have prepared fully to counter their policy of levelling baseless allegations. In the first place, the process was about peace in Afghanistan and the objective can only be achieved if all countries extend cooperation for the purpose.  Similarly, India is openly interfering in internal affairs of Pakistan, RAW is engaged in terrorist and subversive activities in Balochistan, Karachi and public statements have been made to thwart CPEC, which is purely an economic project. The question arises as to why Pakistan is not taking up these issues with required emphasis with India and Afghanistan. There should not be double standards on the issue of terrorism and state terrorism by India and Afghanistan should also be taken up at all forums and during bilateral engagements. No saner element can plead for raising tension either with India or Afghanistan but there should be clear red lines. This is, however, satisfying that declaration of the Heart of Asia Conference, held in Amritsar, was balanced as it mentioned those terrorist groups as well that are being patronised by Afghanistan and India. The conference also recognised Pakistan’s hosting of millions of Afghan refugees for over three decades and echoed concerns of Pakistan by urging the international community to provide assistance to the country for the purpose.

Check Also

Afghan peace conference

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has reiterated Paki­stan’s unshakable resolve to support lasting peace, stability …