Pakistan likely to attend Heart of Asia-Istanbul conference in India

Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct. 24 : Pakistan is likely to attend a key regional conference on Afghanistan in India. The Heart of Asia-Istanbul ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in the first week of December in the Indian city of Amritsar.

Pakistan's participation in the meeting was doubtful after New Delhi refused to participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which was to be held in Islamabad in November, in a bid to globally isolate Pakistan post a terrorist attack on an army base camp in Jammu and Kashmir, reports the Express Tribune.

However, officials familiar with the development have said, "There is a growing sense among the stakeholders that Pakistan should attend the Heart of Asia-Istanbul conference," as he pointed out that there was no point of boycotting the conference since it was about Afghanistan.

"As we have stated repeatedly that Pakistan will support every endeavour that contributes towards peace and stability in Afghanistan," he added.

However, it is unclear as to who will attend the conference. The official said Pakistan's participation in the meeting would convey a 'loud and clear' message to the world that it was in favour of reaching out to its neighbours for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Foreign ministers from 14-member countries, including Russia, China and Turkey, are expected to attend the daylong conference meant to discuss the current Afghan situation and possible initiatives the immediate and extended neighbours of Afghanistan could undertake to restore long-term peace and stability in the war-torn country.

Senior officials from 17 supporting countries, including the United States, will also participate in the meeting to be jointly presided over by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Source: ANI