In a last minute change in schedule, Pakistan’s foreign secratary Sartaz Aziz’s visit to Amritsar for Heart Of Asia summit has been pre-poned by a day. The Pakistan NSA, who was scheduled to arrive on Sunday, will now come to India by Saturday evening.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that Aziz is travelling by a special flight today evening.
Zakaria also said Aziz may attend the dinner hosted by the Punjab government in Amritsar, which is managing the global event. PM Narendra Modi is also likely to be present at the dinner.
Earlier, the Pakistan top diplomat was scheduled to reach Amritsar on Sunday for the conference and was supposed to return home the same day.
Aziz 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.
There are a lot speculation on whether the two countries will engage in bilateral talks on the sidelines of the event.
However, spokesman for ministry of external affairs, Vikas Swarup, has ruled it out.
"Talks cannot happen in a climate of continued terrorism. India will never accept continued terrorism as the new normal of the bilateral relationship,” Swarup said Yesterday.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman Nafees Zakaria this week said the agenda for Aziz’s visit was mainly Afghanistan.
The Pakistani government decided to attend the conference this year despite a deep freeze in ties with India.
Pakistan’s decision came even though New Delhi had scuttled the Saarc summit that Islamabad was to host in November 2016.
There has been a surge in tensions between India and Pakistan since July when Pakistan described a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist killed by Indian troops in Kashmir as a "leader” and a "martyr”. A terrorist attack on an Indian army garrison in September that killed 19 soldiers only frayed ties further. India retaliated with "surgical strikes” against six to eight terrorist launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on 29 September. Though Pakistan denied the strikes took place, there have been many instances of the 2003 ceasefire being violated since then. The tensions have been further aggravated by an attack on Tuesday by terrorists at an army garrison in India’s Nagrota town.