ISLAMABAD: Amid the political tension that has enveloped both nations, Pakistan has decided to give a warm welcome to Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is likely to visit Islamabad this month to attend the Regional Finance Ministers Conference.
The government finalised arrangements for the upcoming meeting of finance ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), said a hand-out issued by the Ministry of Finance.
New Delhi rules out bilateral meetings with Pakistani officials on sidelines of Saarc
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting to review arrangements for the upcoming SAARC Finance Ministers’ Conference to be hosted in Islamabad on August 25 and 26.
The conference is taking place under the shadows of SAARC Home Ministers’ Conference that was held earlier this month.
“Almost all regional countries have confirmed participation of their finance ministers except Bangladesh,” said the ministry officials. “Bangladesh has so far only confirmed the participation of its deputy finance minister.”
“Dar will personally call his Bangladeshi counterpart and urge him to attend the conference,” they added.
Moreover, it was also decided in the meeting that Pakistan would play the role of a “good host” and try to keep the overall ambiance positive.
There are chances of gracious handshakes between Dar and his Indian counterpart, said the officials.
Indian and Pakistani interior ministers exchanged repartee over issues of terrorism and suppression of freedom movement in Indian Kashmir.
Saarc conference: Indian home minister lands in Islamabad amid protests
“The hostilities were at peak during the Home Ministers’ Conference and Dar does not wish a repetition,” said the officials.
However, the Ministry of Finance did not comment on whether a bilateral meeting would be held between the finance ministers of India and Pakistan.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will also participate in the conference.
These meetings are taking place ahead of the SAARC Summit to be held in November this year in Islamabad. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the summit.
Officials in the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs gave presentations to the participants of the meeting on the overall plan to conduct the conference.
“All SAARC countries have a lot of potential to develop together utilising each other’s potentials and energies. The cooperation is necessary in promoting the welfare and improving the quality of life of the people of the region,” said Dar.
“The upcoming conference is an important event in this regard,” he added.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cabinet and Aviation Divisions.
Courtesy : Express Tribune