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'Heart of Asia' conference: Sartaj Aziz exchanges pleasantries with PM Narendra Modi, Indo-Pak talks uncertain

PM Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on today took a heritage walk and visited the Golden Temple.


'Heart of Asia' conference: Sartaj Aziz exchanges pleasantries with PM Narendra Modi, Indo-Pak talks uncertain

Amritsar: In the midst of heightened Indo-Pak tensions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met Pakistani Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz, on the sidelines of 'Heart of Asia' conference on Afghanistan.

Aziz, Pakistan's de facto foreign policy chief, attended a dinner where he exchanged pleasentaries with PM Modi.

Aziz was earlier scheduled to arrive here on Sunday but came a day early due to prevailing weather condition. Almost the entire northern India has been affected by thick fog for the last two days.

There was no clarity on whether there will be a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the conference.

He is leading the Pakistani delegation to the meeting that focuses on regional cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours to improve connectivity and tackle security threats in the war-torn country.

PM Modi, Ashraf Ghani visit Golden Temple

PM Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on today took a heritage walk and visited the Golden Temple soon after arriving in this holy town to attend the Heart of Asia conference.

The PM Modi, Ghani and other world dignitaries attending the conference paid obeisance at the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple. PM Modi also served 'langar' at the Golden Temple.

The two leaders were given a 24 carat gold replica of Golden Temple and a set of five books besides a 'siropa' (robe of honour) and shawl.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur also accompanied Modi and Ghani to the Golden Temple.

Modi and Ghani will on Sunday jointly inaugurate the ministerial deliberations at the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process conference, which will see participation of over eight foreign ministers and other dignitaries of 14 participating countries.

In the meeting, Afghanistan is also likely to seek enhanced supply of military hardware from India in strengthening its armed forces.

Afghanistan has been trying to revamp its military to fight the resurgent Taliban after drawdown of NATO forces began nearly two years back.

Last week India had given to Afghanistan the last of the four military helicopters.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates are part of the Heart of Asia initiative launched in 2011 for encouraging economic and security cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours for dealing with the common problems of terrorism, extremism and poverty.

From Zee News

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