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Heart of Asia summit: EAM S Jaishankar, Pakistan counterpart to attend a conference today in Tajikistan


New Delhi, Mar 30: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is all set to attend a key conference on Afghanistan, along with his Pakistani counterpart and representatives of 49 other nations. According to reports, the conference will be held in Tajikistan's Dushanbe on Tuesday and will be aimed at discussing building regional consensus around the peace process in Afghanistan.


Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, "Touchdown in Dushanbe. Look forward to my bilateral visit and attending the Heart of Asia Conference tomorrow."

During the visit, the Indian Foreign Minister is expected to meet leaders of other participating countries on the sidelines of the conference.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will also attend the conference and the participation of both the ministers at the conference has sparked speculation of a possible meeting between the two leaders amidst recent peace overtures from Pakistan.

However, Qureshi clarified that no meeting has been "finalised or requested" so far with his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the conference in Dushanbe.

Earlier, Jaishankar did not give a specific reply to questions on whether he will meet Qureshi on the sidelines of the conference. "My scheduling is in progress. So far I do not think any such meeting (is scheduled)," he had said.

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    The 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) ministerial conference is part of the Istanbul Process - a regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan - that was launched on November 2, 2011, in Turkey.

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