India, Pak foreign secys to meet today

India, Pak foreign secys to meet today

India, Pak foreign secys to meet today
The much-awaited meeting of the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan will take place in New Delhi on Tuesday – on the sidelines of a multilateral conclave.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart A A Chaudhry will meet on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference – a multilateral forum of the countries supporting reconstruction of war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Officials in New Delhi on Monday said that the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan was among the top diplomats of many countries attending the meeting of the senior officials of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process being hosted by India. He will also have bilateral meetings with leaders of other delegations, including his host Foreign Secretary of India, added the officials. 

A meeting between Jaishankar and Chaudhry was scheduled to take place in Islamabad on January 15. They were expected to discuss modalities and timeline of the formal bilateral dialogue after its resumption, as announced by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart Sartaj Aziz on December 9 last year – again on the sidelines of a Heart of Asia ministerial conference.

The meeting, which would have marked restart of the bilateral dialogue after a two-year-long hiatus, was, however, deferred in the wake of the January 1-4 attack on an Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab. New Delhi blamed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack and asked Islamabad to act against the terror organization led by Moulana Masood Azhar.

“Pakistan looks forward to active participation in the forthcoming Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia process reflecting our commitment to efforts for promoting long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Pakistan government stated in Islamabad on Monday.
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