Pakistan envoys' conference to discuss Indo-PaK ties

A three-day conference of Pakistan's envoys to key multilateral institutions and countries, including India, began here today to deliberate on a host of issues like the Kashmir situation, Indo-Pak ties and relations with the US.

Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz inaugurated the envoys' conference for discussing how to confront multiple challenges faced by the country.

Nine envoys of Pakistan accredited to various capitals and multilateral institutions have been invited to participate in the third annual conference being held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Aziz, in his address, said the envoys should focus on protecting the country's interests and project its point of view on vital issues of national importance.

Details of his address were not immediately available.

The situation in Kashmir will be discussed in the conference in addition to the current stalemate in ties with India, sources said.

Other issues to be discussed, include Afghanistan, relations with the US and the progress on the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that will provide access to China to the Arabian Sea.

The upcoming SAARC summit and the issue of India's efforts to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, disarmament affairs and terrorism was also expected to be discussed during the conference.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in statement that the Envoys' Conference is a regular feature in which Pakistan's representatives in various regions brief the government on important developments in their respective areas of accreditation and challenges and opportunities arising out of such developments.

"The envoys also present their recommendations towards existing foreign policy with a view to review, adapt and recalibrate policy in accordance with the prevalent strategic, political and economic trends," he said.

The envoys invited for the conference include Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani (Washington DC), Ambassador Masood Khalid (Beijing), High Commissioner Abdul Basit (New Delhi), Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi (UN) and Ambassador Qazi M Khalilullah (Moscow) among others.

Surprisingly, envoys to the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia have not been invited for the conference.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will preside over the concluding session of the conference during which he will be briefed on the outcome and he will share his foreign policy vision, Zakaria said.

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