Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi are likely to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe, ThePrint has learnt.
According to diplomatic sources, Islamabad is pushing for the meeting between both ministers, who will be attending the conference on 30 March. The conference is part of the Istanbul Process — a regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan — that was launched on 2 November 2011 in Turkey.
Pakistan has informed India through diplomatic channels that FM Qureshi is keen to meet EAM Jaishankar as relations between the two neighbours are showing some initial signs of thaw, the sources said.
Both ministers are likely to discuss the issue of “reinstatement” of envoys in each other’s countries at the earliest, the sources said.
On 7 August 2019, two days after the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic ties with India. Subsequently, New Delhi recalled its High Commissioner. Pakistan had also suspended all trade ties with India at the same time.
The ministers may also discuss how to move ahead with the next round of the SAARC Summit — which has been pending since 2016 following tensions between India and Pakistan over the Uri attack — to take place in Islamabad later this year, the sources added.
If the summit happens this time, then there are significant chances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting Islamabad to attend the meet, the sources said.