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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Pak foreign minister to attend conference in Tajikistan, may hold meeting with Indian counterpart

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will travel to Tajikistan later in the month to participate in the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, which is expected to be attended by his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar, sparking speculation of a possible meeting between the two amidst peace overtures from the Pakistani Army, according to a media reports.

However, there was no official confirmation from New Delhi on whether Jaishankar will travel to Tajikistan for the conference or about the possible meeting with his Pakistani counterpart.

The Ninth Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process is scheduled to take place on the 30th of March 2021 in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.

Dawn newspaper reported that the participation of Jaishankar and Qureshi in the March 30th event, in the backdrop of the recent developments, has led to speculation that they could meet.

“In view of recent events, we cannot say it’s impossible,” an official was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The militaries of India and Pakistan on February 25 announced that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on a ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.
On March 18, Pakistan’s powerful army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said it was time for India and Pakistan to “bury the past and move forward”.

Addressing a session of the first-ever Islamabad Security Dialogue here, Gen Bajwa also said that the potential for regional peace and development always remained hostage to the disputes and issues between Pakistan and India – the two “nuclear-armed neighbours”.

“We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward,” he said, adding that the responsibility for a meaningful dialogue rested with India.

India last month said it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence and that the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.

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