Heart of Asia conference: Sartaz Aziz may curtail the visit, low hope of bilateral talks
In the Heart of Asia conference scheduled for December 3 and 4 in Amritsar, Pakistan’s Sartaz Aziz, the de facto foreign minister of the country, will likely have a curtailed visit to India. There has been no confirmation of any substantive bilateral dialogue between the two countries in the sideline of this conference.
According to a report of Times of India, Pakistan has confirmed that Aziz will arrive in Amritsar only on December 4, unlike delegates from other countries who will land a day earlier, and depart for Pakistan the same evening. Foreign ministers of 14 countries are expected to participate in the conference.
Aziz will not be attending the dinner which will be hosted by India on December 3. He will be accompanied by Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan Syed Abrar Hussain and senior MoFA official Mansoor Khan who handles Afghanistan.
The report quoted its sources as saying, “There can be a few handshakes and some informal talk as a matter of courtesy maybe but there is no proposal for any real bilateral dialogue.”
Pakistan, too, is keen to ensure that it is not seen as making any concession to India at a time when it is seeking to convince the world about India’s alleged ceasefire violations and resultant civilian casualties.