The 'Heart of Asia' meeting, an annual gathering of Asian and other countries, comes months after the first, inconclusive talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The two-day meeting is expected to focus on energy,  infrastructure and investment deals to shore up commitment to Afghanistan but the threat of an intensifying Taliban insurgency will hang over proceedings with hopes dim for a resumption of peace talks soon.

The Afghan Taliban and the government held inaugural talks in Pakistan in July, but the effort to end the 14-year insurgency stalled when after news leaked that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had been dead for two years.

Last week, the new leader of the main Afghan Taliban faction, Omar's deputy, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was reported killed or wounded by rivals.

Read more: Heart of Asia meeting starts in Islamabad

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