INTERNATIONAL DESK: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Chair India sent an invitation to SCO nations including Pakistan for the SCO meeting to be held in New Delhi in April this year. However, the Ministry of External Affairs has received no confirmation on the subject, said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Minister meet is going to be held in the Indian Capital, New Delhi in April.
Defence Minister of all SCO states, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are sent invitations for the Defence Ministers’ meeting including Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.
“We are the SCO chair and we will invite all SCO members to the events that are inter-governmental,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
“Being the SCO chair, various invitations are being sent but whether or not they (Pakistan) have accepted it yet, I dont know about it. Neither do I follow each and every such small piece of information,” Bagchi said while speaking to the media on Thursday.
With India currently holding the Presidency of the SCO, it is set to host a series of meetings this year.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation comprises China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India has also sent invitations to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting that will be held in May.
SCO is an important transregional organization that aims to strengthen economic linkages and cooperation among its Member States in different fields. Every year, SCO develops a calendar of activities, which includes the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers.
India has formally sent invitations to all members of the SCO including Pakistan and China for the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting which will be held in Goa from May 4-5.
The invitation includes invites to the new Foreign Minister of China Qin Gang and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto.
India took over the chairmanship of the 9-member mega grouping in September last year and will be holding key ministerial meetings and the summit this year.
Relations between the two countries have been precarious for many years with regard to issues of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, even as Islamabad has been seeking the restoration of Article 370 for the former Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for any talks.
Moreover, Pakistan has been trumpeting the Kashmir issues at all international forums without any support coming.
Recently, India slammed Pakistan on the issue of the religious freedom of minorities at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Using its right to reply, India’s representative Seema Pujani slammed her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar saying, “No religious minority can freely live or practice its religion in Pakistan today. The Ahmadiya community continues to be persecuted by the state for simply practising their faith. (ANI)
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