Ghani thunders, Swaraj diplomatic at ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in Islamabad

(From Dawn)

Opening the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad Wednesday, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani warned of the perils and origins of the refugee problem and the ‘unintended consequences’ of Pakistan’s military operations.

Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj

“Unfortunately, recent events in Pakistan have forced us to host close to 350,000 to 500,000 Pakistani refugees on our soil. The refugee issue is a common issue, like other issues that confront us,” Ghani said.

He believed it prudent to name the problems plaguing the region in order to formulate a plan of action for regional cooperation along the lines Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier suggested.

In her speech, Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj focused on increased connectivity, regional trade and openness with Afghanistan, and also “extended India’s hand towards Pakistan” in this regard.

“It is time we [Pakistan and India] display the maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other… the entire world is watching and we must not disappoint them. India will extend its cooperation at a pace Pakistan is comfortable with… but let us focus on Afghanistan for now,” she said. Read More

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