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India set to invite Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif to attend high-level SCO summit in Goa

India, the current chair of the eight-nation SCO, is set to invite Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, to the SCO summit scheduled to be held in May this year.

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

New Delhi: India, the current chair of the eight-nation SCO, is set to invite Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit scheduled to be held in May this year.

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These developments took place the day after Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto were invited to the SCO summit in Goa.

The invitations were delivered in accordance with the established procedure; however, it is not confirmed regarding the participation of either Bilawal Bhutto or Qin Gang.

If the Pakistani prime minister or foreign minister decides to attend the meeting in person, then it will be the first such trip from Islamabad to India since 2011. In that year, Pakistan’s then-foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, visited India.

The ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after India’s warplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February 2019 concerning the Pulwama terror attack. 

After that, the withdrawal of special powers and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories in August 2019 further deteriorated the relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

India assumed the responsibility of chairing the group of eight-member nations last September and is set to organise the key ministerial meetings and summit in Goa in the first week of May. 

The SCO also includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. Invitations have also been sent to the foreign ministers of China and Russia, along with those of the other Central Asian countries.

 

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