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Pakistan in No Hurry on India’s Invitation


ISLAMABAD: As authorities have described New Delhi’s invitation to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to attend the important regional forum’s conference in May as “regular practice,” Pakistan is not in a rush to answer.

For the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conference slated for May in Goa, India has extended an invitation to the foreign minister of Pakistan.

On Wednesday, official sources acknowledged receiving the Indian invitation, but they cautioned that it was still too early to make any statements.

“It is a common occurrence. As the SCO’s current President, India has sent an invitation to all of its members, including Pakistan, a representative said, downplaying the invitation’s importance.

The decision to attend the SCO foreign ministers conference will be made at the right moment and following talks with all interested parties, according to the sources.

However, a source close to the foreign ministry asserted that Bilawal would seize the chance to visit India since doing so would allow him to get personal knowledge of the neighboring nation.

According to the source,

Bilawal has not missed a single multilateral engagement since taking office as foreign minister, therefore there is a strong likelihood that he would travel to Goa for the SCO conference.

Given the political unrest at the moment, it all relies on whether the government is still in power at that point.

The SCO summit of heads of government is slated to take place in New Delhi in June following the gathering of foreign ministers.

The SCO process has never been hampered by Pakistan and India’s disagreements, despite their difficult bilateral ties.

Observers believe Islamabad’s participation in the SCO meetings in India is a definite possibility since the SCO’s major participants like China and Russia don’t want the regional forum’s proceedings to overshadow the rivalry between the South Asian rivals.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan plus Pakistan, China, India, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan, presently has Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as its presidents.

As the SCO’s President, New Delhi will host a number of occasions, including the summit in 2023, a gathering of foreign ministers, and a conference of chief justices from member nations.

The SCO’s chief justices will meet in March, while the foreign ministers will convene in May.

After promising not to sabotage the SCO’s efforts due to their bilateral disagreements, Pakistan and India were both admitted as full members of the powerful organization a few years ago.

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