India will welcome Pakistan at HoA conference


New Delhi:┬áIndia today said it will welcome Pakistan’s participation at the Heart of Asia (HoA) conference to be held in Amritsar on December 4 although it has not received any official confirmation from it so far.

“We are yet to receive an official confirmation from Pakistan and also the level of participation,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said when asked whether there will be a Indo-Pak bilateral meeting as Pakistan’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has already announced his country will attend the conference.

He also said HoA was a ministerial-level meeting and a multilateral conference to discuss peace, development and economic cooperation for the prosperity of Afghanistan.

“We will certainly welcome all countries to Amritsar because we are totally committed to peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. HoA process is a very important process for taking that particular narrative forward….and how international community can partner…

“We will welcome the participation of Pakistan,” he said while noting that India was expecting more than 40 countries and organisations to attend the meet.”

Last year in December, the meeting of the HoA process was hosted by Pakistan and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended it after which she had a bilateral talks with Aziz. The two sides had also announced resumption of Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD), which never took-off due to terror strikes, including Pathankot attack by Pakistan- based elements.

India had recently boycotted the SAARC summit which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad. Citing continuous cross-border terrorism from Pakistan following the Uri attack, India had said, “in the present circumstances” it was unable to take part in the SAARC summit.