India confirms Pakistan invite for Afghan conference


New Delhi: An Indian diplomat has reportedly confirmed that New Delhi has received an invite from Pakistan for an Afghan conference, but no decision has been taken on the External Affairs Minister’s participation in the conference.

In a bid to restore stability in the militancy-ravaged Afghanistan, Pakistan has invited Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference to be held in Islamabad on 7th and 8th December. The Afghan conference aims at addressing the unstable condition of Afghanistan.

Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE are certain to attend the conference.

“A formal invitation has been sent to India and 25 other countries for the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting on Afghanistan to be hosted by Pakistan,” a senior Foreign Office official was quoted by Pakistan news daily – Express Tribune.

The diplomat further said India is likely to send a high-level delegation headed by the minister, given the importance of the conference.

The meet would provide an opportunity for the two countries to develop a procedure for further discussion between the two countries after the latest glitches in their relations.

Post cancellation of the NSA-level talks and differences over the meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, India and Pakistan would be able to benefit from such a meet.

If such steps have been taken by Pakistan, India should respond in a positive manner and attended the conference to mend their international relations with the country.

There are no official confirmations given by the Indian Government to any such invite and neither has the External Affairs Minister clarified on the request.