ISLAMABAD – Interior Secretaries of countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) are meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss issues relating to terrorism, narcotics, smuggling and immigration.
“They would formulate recommendations for the Interior Ministers of the Association who are meeting in the Capital tomorrow,” reports Radio Pakistan.
Interior Secretary Arif Ali Khan has been elected as Chairman of the meeting.
According to media reports, the Interior Ministers of Pakistan and India do not seem keen on holding a one-to-one meeting with each other.
Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will host the Indian Interior Minister and his counterparts from the other countries.
While the Interior Ministers of Pakistan and India will sit on one table to talk and discuss important matters concerning the region, a bilateral meeting does not seem to be on the cards.
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are part of the SAARC conference, which is a platform to promote regional cooperation and cordial relations among member states.
This is the first time a high-level Indian delegation is visiting Pakistan since December 2015 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Singh Modi came to Lahore. Ties between both countries were improving up till that point, before the Pathankot attack on an Indian air force base caused a strain in relations between the two countries.
Relations between India and Pakistan have further deteriorated since the killing of Kashmiri pro-freedom insurgent Burhan Wani.
After Wani’s killing, thousands of people took to the streets in protest, whuke the Indian government imposed a curfew and other restrictions in various areas of Kashmir Valley.