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Jaishankar Arrives in Tajikistan’s Capital for Key Conference on Afghanistan | India News


DUSHANBE: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar arrived in Tajikistan’s capital on Monday to attend a key conference on Afghanistan, where representatives from around 50 countries and international organizations would discuss building a regional consensus around the process of peace in the war-torn country.
“Landing in Dushanbe. I look forward to my bilateral visit and attending the Heart of Asia Conference tomorrow,” Jaishankar tweeted.
The ninth ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) is part of the Istanbul Process, a regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, which was launched on November 2, 2011 in Turkey.
“I visited the Dushanbe-Chortut Highway Project site. Good job done by @BROindia under our grant assistance. The 8-lane highway will decongest Dushanbe,” the minister tweeted.
Last week, Jaishankar said that India would like to see clearly a sovereign, democratic and inclusive Afghanistan that takes into account the interests of its minorities.
“There is something called the peace and reconciliation process and everyone else is saying that the Taliban are getting closer and changing, etc. Let’s wait and see,” he had said.
During his visit, Jaishanakar is also expected to meet with leaders of other participating countries on the sidelines of the conference.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will also attend the conference and the participation of both ministers in the conference has sparked speculation about a possible meeting between the two leaders amid Pakistan’s recent peace proposals.
Qureshi, however, said that no meeting with his Indian counterpart has been “finalized or requested” so far on the sidelines of the conference.
Jaishankar last week also did not provide a specific answer to questions about whether he will meet with Qureshi on the sidelines of the conference.
“My scheduling is in progress. So far I don’t think such a meeting (is scheduled),” he told the Indian Economic Caucus in New Delhi on March 26.
The last meeting between Qureshi and an Indian foreign minister took place in May 2019 in Bishkek on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting. The late Sushma Swaraj then held the portfolio of the Foreign Minister.
India and Pakistan lack high commissioners in each other’s capitals, New Delhi and Islamabad, respectively, since relations between the two countries plummeted after India withdrew Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and forked the state into two territories. of the union in August 2019.
The Indian and Pakistani armies announced on February 25 that they agreed to strictly observe all ceasefire agreements along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.
Weeks later, both Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and powerful army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa made peace proposals towards New Delhi saying it was time for the two neighbors to “bury the past and move on” .
India has said that it wants normal neighborly relations with Pakistan in an environment free from terror, hostility and violence and that the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment free from terror and hostility.

Times of India