Heart of Asia conference: Ajit Doval, Sartaj Aziz have brief interaction

Pakistani Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had a brief interaction in Amritsar.

Amritsar: Pakistani Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had a brief interaction.

They had a short informal chat after Foreign Ministers of five countries called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a group on Saturday night.

The call on by the foreign ministers preceded an official dinner attended by representatives of almost all countries participating in the Heart of Asia (HoA) conference.

While Indian sources said Aziz and Doval "had a stroll for about 100 feet" at the venue of the dinner 'Sada Pind', a heritage village, Pakistani officials maintained that they had a "meeting". However, it is not known what transpired during their conversation, as per PTI.

When asked, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup only said, "There was no meeting".

During the dinner, Aziz exchanged pleasantries with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The tension between two countries is under strain in the wake of Nagrota terror strike and intensified cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir.

India had already made it clear that it will never accept continuing cross-border terrorism as the 'new normal' in bilateral ties with Pakistan while asserting that talks cannot take place in an atmosphere of "continued terror".

Meanwhile, combating terrorism was at the centre-stage of HoA conference which sent a clear message to Pakistan, holding terror and violent extremism as the biggest threat to peace, but could not firm up a regional framework proposed by Afghanistan to effectively deal with the menace.

After the two-day deliberations, attended by 40 countries including major regional and global powers and blocs, the HoA, a platform to help Afghanistan in its transition, issued the Amritsar Declaration which called for dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens in the region, as well as disrupting all financial, tactical and logistical support for terror networks.

Held in the backdrop of number of cross-border terror attacks on India and elsewhere, the HoA expressed serious concern over gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan and in many parts of the region, holding that united efforts are required to contain terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Taliban, the Haqqani Network, al Qaeda, IS and its affiliates, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist groups.

(With Agency inputs)

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