The Heart Of Asia 2016 conference in Amritsar called for an immediate elimination of terrorism to help the war-ravaged country in its political and economic transition. Being attended by nearly 40 countries and leading groupings like the European Union, the annual conference of the Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process is deliberating on various challenges facing Afghanistan, including revival of a peace process in the conflict-ridden country.
Ahead of the conference, both India and Afghanistan had called terror emanating from Pakistan as the “greatest threat” to regional peace and stability, and both the countries are set to press hard for adopting the counter-terror framework at Sunday’s deliberations.
During the conference, Sunday express interact with Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s advisor on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and came out with his latest statement on Kashmir and Bilateral Talk with India.
‘I am here to attend the Heart of Asia meeting and, by coming here, we are showing our commitment to, first of all, the importance of Heart of Asia for Afghanistan’s peace and security. I am also here to show our commitment to peace and security of the region, and commitment to promote multilateral peace for this purpose,’ Aziz said.
He added that Pakistan would not raise Kashmir or any bilateral issue with India at Heart of Asia, as ‘this is not the forum’ for it, and reiterated that his presence in India was an indication that Pakistan was ready for bilateral talks. ‘If India shows any interest, I would certainly like to meet. I don’t think we need to request for a meeting. We are here, so we will see how it goes,’ Aziz said. Pakistan, he said, was ‘desirous’ of peace. ‘Peace requires dialogue, any issues can be discussed across the table than through the media. If we don’t have structured dialogue, then the dialogue through media increases hostility and increased negative perceptions,’ Aziz said. ‘Whenever India is ready, we will be ready. Terrorism is a subject under the comprehensive dialogue, when we meet, we can discuss that also,’ he said.
Know about the reaction of Indian officials on Sartaj Aziz’s statement on Kashmir click next!