ISLAMABAD: At the special invitation of Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani will visit China to participate in the 3rd Trans-Himalaya Forum for International Cooperation, being held in Nyingchi, Tibet Autonomous Region, on October 4-5, according to the Foreign Office.
Ten countries have been invited to attend the forum but there is speculation that India is not likely to attend it, even though it has been invited. Of special interest will be a meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan where a host of bilateral issues including return of unregistered Afghans and terrorism from Afghanistan will be discussed. Many delegates, The News has learnt, who have reached Nyingchi, are suffering from slight altitude sickness.
The Trans-Himalaya Forum was initiated in 2018 to deepen practical cooperation among regional countries on diverse subjects including geographical connectivity, environmental protection, ecological preservation and cultural linkages. The last in-person meeting of the Forum was held in 2019. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Ecological Civilization and Environmental Protection”.
“During his stay in Tibet, Jilani will address the opening ceremony of the Forum. He will also meet several regional dignitaries including the deputy prime minister of Mongolia, the foreign minister of China and the interim foreign minister of Afghanistan,” said the Foreign Office. This is the first time that the Forum has been upgraded to the ministerial level. Previously an ambassador from Pakistan had attended it. This is a Chinese forum and does not have members per se, and is not an institutionalised format.
“It’s a conference that’s very important for the Chinese to showcase their connectivity strengths and show the developmental successes of Tibet to the world,” says a source. The China Tibet Trans-Himalayas Forum for International Cooperation was founded in 2018 and is hosted by the Tibet Autonomous Region. It aims to promote interconnection and common development of countries in the region and beyond through holding international discussions, exchanges and cooperation. So far, it has successfully held two forums and an online seminar on ecological and environmental protection. In October 2019, the second Trans-Himalayas Forum was held in Nyingchi, Tibet. Representatives from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Committee of Senate of Pakistan and the Pakistan National Medical Services Regulatory Commission attended. The Forum further focused on the goal of interconnection and expanding characteristic cooperation in the humanities field. In the spirit of “open cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win”, the Forum integrated superior resources and built a communication platform for regional development. In February 2021, the Trans-Himalayas Forum held a track 1.5 online seminar on ecological and environmental protection, focusing on ecological and environmental protection, international cooperation in the field of climate change, green and low-carbon, sustainable development, etc and achieved positive results.