Pak foreign minister to attend 'Heart of Asia' conference in Tajikistan
On the sidelines of the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) ministerial conference, Qureshi will hold 'consultations with key regional and international partners', it said
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will lead a delegation to the 'Heart of Asia' conference scheduled to take place on Tuesday at Tajikistan capital Dushanbe, the Foreign Office announced on Sunday.
On the sidelines of the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) ministerial conference, Qureshi will hold 'consultations with key regional and international partners', it said.
The conference would also see the participation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
The participation of both the ministers at the event has sparked speculation of a possible meeting between the two leaders amidst peace overtures from the Pakistan Army. However, both countries have not said anything about a possible meeting between the two foreign ministers in Dushanbe.
Jaishankar is expected to meet leaders of other participating countries on the sidelines of the conference, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Friday while announcing his participation.
Speaking at the India Economic Conclave in New Delhi on March 26, Jaishankar did not give a specific reply to questions on whether he will meet Qureshi on the sidelines of the conference.
"My scheduling is in progress. So far, I do not think any such meeting (is scheduled)," he said.
Asked whether the agreement between the militaries of India and Pakistan and the talks between Indus commissioners of the two sides were a sign of thaw in ties, Jaishankar said, "I think the agreements between the DGMOs is a sensible agreement because I don't think Pakistan either did themselves or us good by encouraging or facilitating infiltrators and terrorists across the Line of Control and the IB (international border)."
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'.
India has said it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence and that the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment free of terror and hostility.
(With inputs from agencies)