India on Thursday said it is yet to receive confirmation from Pakistan about its participation in the Heart of Asia Conference to be held in Amritsar on December 3 and 4 which a top aide to its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had maintained he would attend.
“We have not yet received any confirmation of Pakistan’s participation in the HoA conference,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
He was asked about reported comments of Pakistan Prime Minister’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz that he would travel to India to attend the conference on Afghanistan, asserting that the trip could be a “good opportunity” to “defuse” Indo-Pak tension.
“Unlike India, that had sabotaged SAARC summit in Pakistan by pulling out, Pakistan will respond by participating in the Heart of Asia being held in India. It’s a good opportunity to defuse the tension,” PTV quoted Aziz as saying.
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 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 the 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.