The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are likely to meet on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process conference scheduled on Tuesday in New Delhi, the News International quoted its sources as saying. This comes just days after Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said the talks between the two countries were suspended for the time being.
The diplomatic talks that have been on hold for sometime now may get a push during the meeting between Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Basit had, on April 7, said no meeting was scheduled between the two nations. "I think at present it is suspended, so lets see if we are able to commence the dialogue process," he had said of the bilateral talks. Tuesday's meeting is not official, but it is expected to reopen dialogues between the neighbouring countries.
The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan were expected to meet earlier this year, but the Jan. 2 attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab, became a roadblock. India claimed the attackers had entered from Pakistan and were members of the Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, whose chief Masood Azhar has been accused by India of masterminding the attack in which seven security personnel were killed.
A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan came to India last month to probe the Pathankot attack and examine evidence provided by India. India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also expected to visit Pakistan for further probe, but Islamabad seems uncertain about the proposal.
Heart of Asia conference
Senior officials from the United States, China, Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and some other countries will attend the sixth Heart of Asia meeting being hosted by India this year. The 14 member nations discuss regional security, political, and economic cooperation at the conference every year.
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates are the members of the Istanbul Process. The U.S., France, European Union and Britain are among the supporting entities.