Despite Indian hostilities, Pakistan wins support from China, Russia and Iran at HoA moot

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MIAN ABRAR

Despite hostile attitude meted out to PM’s Advisor Sartaj Aziz and his delegation at the recently held Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar, Pakistan emerged as a diplomatic winner where key players of the region including Russia, China and Iran supported Pakistan’s diplomatic approach towards significant issues related to Afghanistan and Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Sartaj Aziz, despite all the hostility, failed the Indian game plan using his diplomatic skills and experience. India wanted to isolate Pakistan but the senior diplomat outclassed his adversaries. He proved his wisdom during the meetings held on the sidelines of the conference.

During the moot, Aziz won over support from China over its generous offer to contribute $500 million for reconstruction of the war-torn Afghanistan. The Beijing also offered its own share to help complete reconstruction projects under a tripartite commission on time.

A well-placed source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who attended the conference told Pakistan Today that Chinese foreign minister made the offer to Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani during their meeting held in Amritsar on the sidelines of the moot.

“During his meeting with Sartaj Aziz, Dr Ghani appreciated the offer of $500 million made by him. Dr Ghani further told that the Chinese foreign minister had offered him to supplement Pakistan’s offer, saying that Beijing would love to come up with its own share too, and this all funding could be made under a tripartite commission.

The source said that Afghan president was thrilled by the idea floated by China and he had shared the same with Sartaj Aziz. The source said that the later statement by Dr Ghani reflected a change of mind despite the pressure from New Delhi.

Russia’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov also snubbed Dr Ghani’s remarks against Pakistan, saying that President Ghani should not have used this forum for attack on Pakistan. These remarks reflect a swift change taking place in Kremlin, despite having acrimony of Afghan war of 1980s. However, with the swift shifting of India alongside US, there is a visible change in Moscow’s stance as it has supported Islamabad over several occasions.

As if it was not enough, New Delhi witnessed another bombshell when Iranian foreign minister offered mediation over Kashmir – a step India always rejected. In the past, India has even refused the repeated mediation offers by United States of America.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the Heart of Asia Conference offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. “Tehran has excellent relationship with both India and Pakistan. We are ready for conciliation on Kashmir if both countries are willing on it,” Javad said.

“If Iran can be of any help to any of them, we stand ready. We are not volunteering, but we stand ready because these two neighbours are extremely important to us and we share common ideals,” said the Iranian foreign minister. Noting that Iran has excellent relations with both the countries, said his country did not want to lose the existing bond.

“We cannot lose that. That bond is too important, both with India and Pakistan,” he concluded.