Efforts Will be on Improving Indo-Pak Ties, Says Sushma in Islamabad

The External Affairs Minister said she will make strenuous efforts to improve relations between India and Pakistan.

Published: 08th December 2015 09:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2015 09:23 PM   |  A+A-

Sushma Swaraj_AFP

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj (2R) walks with Indian and Pakistani officials upon her arrival at the military Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi. |AFP


ISLAMABAD: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said she will make strenuous efforts to improve relations between India and Pakistan.

Swaraj, who reached Islamabad this evening, said, “I will meet Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and my counterpart Sartaj Aziz. Efforts will be on to improve relations.”

The External Affairs Minister, who is on a two-day visit to attend the fifth Ministerial Conference on Heart of Asia, asserted, “'Heart of Asia' Conference is important because it is associated with Afghanistan. That is why I came specially to attend this.”

She will lead the Indian delegation to attend Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad, the two-day ministerial meeting on Afghanistan that begins today.

Swaraj would also meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference. She is also scheduled to meet Sharif's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Swaraj's visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the constructive engagement.

Swaraj is being accompanied by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, Joint Secretary in charge of the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) Desk Gopal Baglay and External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has confirmed his presence in the conference. The focus would be on participating nations' commitment to Afghanistan over energy deals, infrastructure and investment.

The United States has welcomed recently-held NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan in Bangkok. US also welcomed Pakistan's hosting of Heart of Asia Conference and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's participation in it.


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