Article129.png”” alt=””Article129″” />Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry will lead Pak delegation to the Heart of Asia â€“ Istanbul Process meeting which is being held in New Delhi on Tuesday. Sources in the government said that Indian Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar is likely to a have a meeting with Mr. Chaudhry on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference which is purely Afghanistan-centric. It will be for the first time that the two Foreign Secretaries will be meeting since the January 2 Pathankot air base terror attack which India has blamed on Pak-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group, headed by Masood Azhar. Sources said the Dr. Jaishankar would raise the Pathankot terror attack issue with his Pakistani counterpart. Pak Foreign Secretary is also likely to have bilateral meetings with other delegations.
The 14-nation Heart of Asia grouping was established in 2011 and Pakistan has played an active role in it as 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 had hosted the fifth Heart of Asia Ministerial conference in Islamabad on December 9, 2015. Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad said, in a statement, that it looks forward to active participation in the senior officials meeting of the Heart of Asia process “”reflecting our commitment to efforts for promoting long term peace and stability in Afghanistan.””
Sources in the Pakistan High Commission said Mr Chaudhry is scheduled to travel to the Indian capital on Tuesday morning and return home in the evening. Pakistani High Commission said no bilateral meetings had been scheduled for Mr. Chaudhury with Indian officials. It is likely that he will have an informal interaction with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. A statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad said the Pakistani delegation will â€œhold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attendingâ€ the Heart of Asia meet.
A Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had visited India this month to probe the attack in which seven security personnel were killed. The foreign secretary-level talks have been hanging by a fine thread though both sides have maintained that they have been in touch and the dialogue would be held at a mutually convenient date. Recently, Pakistani High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit stirred a new controversy, by saying that the talks had been “”suspended.”””