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Indian FM expected to visit Islamabad

03 December, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to visit Islamabad for attending the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting next week.

The ministerial meeting is being held in Islamabad on Dec 9, which is being attended by about 27 countries. India is part of the process, which promotes the vision of regional cooperation and confidence-building with a focus on Afghanistan.

Although Foreign Office denied that it had any information about the expected participation, a senior Pakistani official said that she was “highly likely” to attend the meeting. Pakistan, which is co-hosting the process with Afghanistan, had extended the invitation to the Indian foreign minister last month.

Ms Swaraj’s visit would follow a brief meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Climate Change Summit in Paris on Monday.

Mr Sharif had after the meeting told journalists: “Talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi were good. Doors of dialogue should open.”Both Pakistani and Indian officials had described the Paris meeting as a chance interaction.

But the senior official said the meeting had been planned and in this regard Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit had specially met Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in Delhi almost a fortnight ago.

Ms Swaraj would be the highest ranking Indian official to visit Pakistan since the BJP came to power last year. The Indian foreign secretary had visited Pakistan in March this year as part of what was described as Saarc yatra.

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