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The 6th Ministerial Conference on Heart of Asia-Istanbul process of Afghanistan on Sunday adopted the Amritsar declaration to focus on concerned countries to address terrorism and enhance regional economic cooperation. The major issues of discussion were countering of terrorism to stabilise Afghanistan and providing connectivity to Afghanistan to strengthen economic activities and help the development process.Flag_of_India

Attended by 45 delegates, the leading topic of discussion was terrorism. The declaration recognised terrorism as the major threat to peace and security and demands immediate end to all forms of terrorism.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was quoted in a report in The Economic Times, saying, “This is the first time a Heart of Asia conference expressed concern over violence caused in Afghanistan and the region by terrorist groups like the Al-Qaeda, Daish, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.”The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in his address rapped Pakistan and accused it of launching an undeclared war and assisting terror groups like the Taliban. This in the times of numerous infiltration bids by terrorists from the Pakistan frontier into Indian territory and innumerous ceasefire violations must affect Pakistan’s stand. Notably, Pakistan is also one of the visiting countries in the Heart of Asia conference.The ET report also states that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called for “esolute action” not just against the forces of terrorism, but also the nations that sponsor, shelter, support or instigate such forces.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Afghanistan President Ashraf Gani and ministers from as many as 40 countries are expected to attend the event being held on December 3 and 4. The conference may also help defuse the heightened tension between India and Pakistan with the visit of Pakistan prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz. The conference is based on theme "Addressing Challenges, Achieving Prosperity".

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