The 'Heart of Asia' conference began with an aim to intensify efforts for regional linkages and to promote peace and stability in war-torn Afghanistan.

Sharif and Ghani jointly inaugurated the conference attended by Foreign Ministers of several countries, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Sharif, in his inaugural address, said, "Afghanistan is the heart of Asia and if there is trouble in the heart, the entire region will be turbulent."

The Pakistan Prime Minister welcomed the delegates and promised full support to all efforts for increasing peace in the region with the emphasis on stabilising Afghanistan.

"For us, Afghanistan is more than a neighbour. Our cordial ties are rooted in shared history, common religion, cultural and linguistic affinities and people to people relations since time immemorial. Due to these close bonds, Pakistan has always stood by Afghanistan," he said.

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