NEW DELHI: Pakistan has set up a high-level committee to formulate “a doable and sustainable” policy to highlight the Kashmir issue globally and is reaching out to Indians who are opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “extremist policies”, Dawn reported on Wednesday.
The move was announced in the Senate on Tuesday by the Pakistan prime minister’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, who will be arriving in India to attend the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan in Amritsar slated for the first week of December.
“We have received an official confirmation from Pakistan that Aziz would be attending the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in New Delhi.
According to the Pakistani report, the committee will consist of senior officials from the ministries of defence, interior and information, military operations direcotrate and Inter-Services Intelligence. Aziz said that another committee, chaired by the information secretary, had been formed to prepare fact sheets “to counter India’s propaganda campaign and design a media strategy to continuously highlight the Kashmiri freedom struggle”.
He said that steps were already being taken to reach out to segments of the Indian public that were opposed to Modi’s “extremist policies”.
“Our missions abroad, including in New Delhi, are making outreach efforts to emphasise the extremist Indian policies,” he remarked.
The Heart of Asia conference will take place will see representatives of over 40 countries and raising investments for the redevelopment and reconstruction of war-ravaged Afghanistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will also be addressing the ministerial conference.
Officials did not comment if any Indo-Pak bilateral meeting on the margins of the conference would be held to defuse the tension between the two countries, as Aziz has been contending. The Pakistan media has quoted Aziz as saying, “Unlike India, that had sabotaged the Saarc summit in Pakistan by pulling out, Pakistan will respond by participating in the Heart of Asia conference being held in India. It’s a good opportunity to defuse the tension.”
It remains unclear if External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be attending the conference as she has been unwell.
The duo had met on the sidelines of the 2015 Heart of Asia conference and announced the revival of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue that could never take place. (With PTI inputs)