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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

India Holds First SCO Meeting with Pakistan Foreign Ministers in 12 Years

The last meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

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INDIA/PAKISTAN: In a recent development, India invited the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers’ meetings. 

The meeting is scheduled in Goa from May 4 to May 5. India has formally sent invitations to all members of the SCO, together with Pakistan and China.

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According to the most recent information, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar sent a pompous invitation to Pakistan’s foreign minister from the Indian high commission in Islamabad.

This approach by India was made for the first time in 12 years after Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wanted to have a peaceful relationship with India. 

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The Pakistan Foreign Minister last visited India in 2012, when Hina Rabbani Khar came to hold bilateral meetings with her Indian counterpart. 

The SCO is an intergovernmental organization with eight active member states: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Additionally, Iran will be a part of the organization, and they will mark their presence in the meeting as a full member.

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As per the latest report, Pakistan will not make its presence felt at the SCO Film Festival, which will be held in Mumbai later this month. All other countries except Pakistan have sent their entries for screening in the group’s third such film festival. Sharif recently asked the leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to assist in bringing the two neighbouring countries together. 

However, there still needs to be an official confirmation from the Pakistani side on whether Bhutto Zardari and Bandial will attend the meetings, as reported by the Islamabad residents.

Bhutto Zardari and external affairs minister S Jaishankar discussed terrorism and Kashmir on the sidelines of UN meetings in New York last December, and accepting the invitation would be a first step toward peace.

Also Read: Pakistan: Approximately 220 Million People Suffer Due to Power Cut

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