Daily Times – Sartaj Aziz arrives early in Amritsar for Heart of Asia conference

Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz arrived in India on Saturday evening, ahead of his scheduled arrival for the Heart of Asia conference on Sunday morning, due to weather conditions.

Aziz’s early arrival also raised speculation that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would meet for more than the customary welcome handshake, as he is attending a dinner hosted by Modi for conference delegates.

“We advised Aziz to come early given the fog factor in the morning,” a Pakistani diplomat told an Indian newspaper, referring to visibility issues that have delayed dozens of flights to north Indian cities including Amritsar.

The forecast for Sunday morning was a visibility of 600M, far below the stipulated 1000M clearance VIP flight controllers normally insist on, another official said.

While he avoided the fog, Aziz’s visit is not expected to dispel the chill between India and Pakistan over terror attacks including the latest terror strike on Nagrota base that left 7 jawans dead, and taking the casualties since the Uri attack to cross 20.

“There is no meeting,” a senior official said, when asked about the chance of a ‘pull-aside’ meeting between Modi and Aziz in Amritsar, indicating only a joint call-on was scheduled. Aziz will meet Modi along with other ministerial guests at the conference at the Sadda Pind local resort for dinner.



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