- India and Pakistan were both accepted as full members of the SCO after they promised that their disagreements with each other wouldn't hurt the group.
- It's likely that both ministers will say yes to the invitations and attend the meetings through video link instead of going to India.
In a big step, India has asked Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif to come to New Delhi next month for the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This is a big deal.
The Indian government sent a formal invitation to the Pakistan Foreign Office about the same thing.
In April, the SCO’s Defense Ministers will get together. In May, the group’s Foreign Ministers will meet in Goa.
As the SCO’s president, India will host a number of events where member states like Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, and the Central Asian States will be involved and talk about regional issues, security, growth, and relationships.
India had already invited Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to attend the meeting of Foreign Ministers and a meeting of SCO Chief Justices.
But Bandial didn’t go to the meeting. Instead, Justice Muneeb Akhtar went through a video link to be there.
The decision on Bilawal’s visit is also still up in the air. Many people think that he will be able to join the meeting through a video link, which will also make the decision easier.
Diplomatic sources confirmed that the Pakistani government hasn’t decided yet what to do about India’s invitations. They also said that a decision would be made at the right time.
“We expect that India will also invite Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to the SCO Summit in the next few days. But it’s still not clear if Pakistan will be at these high-profile meetings or not “said a person who knew what was going on.
It’s also important to remember that the SCO Summit is a very important meeting, and it wouldn’t be easy for the Pakistani Foreign Minister and Defense Minister to turn down invitations from India.
It’s likely that both ministers will say yes to the invitations and attend the meetings through video link instead of going to India.
India and Pakistan were both accepted as full members of the SCO after they promised that their disagreements with each other wouldn’t hurt the group.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been tense since February 2021, when India attacked Balakot and Pakistan retaliated by shooting down an Indian Air Force (IAF) jet and taking Wing Commander Abhinandan hostage. Pakistan later released Abhinandan as a “goodwill gesture” to India.