India sent the invitation to Asif for the April 28 meeting as the current head of the eight-nation SCO, a few weeks after a similar communication was sent to Islamabad inviting Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, at the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
India has invited Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting next month along with its counterparts from other member countries, people familiar with the development said on Wednesday.
India sent the invitation to Asif for the April 28 meeting as the current head of the eight-nation SCO, a few weeks after a similar communication was sent to Islamabad inviting Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. at the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. which will be held in May. “Important ministers and leaders of the SCO countries are being sent for various meetings in accordance with the constitution,” said one of the people mentioned above.
They said that Pakistan’s Defense Minister Asif received an invitation from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for the Defense Minister’s meeting. India is also expected to send separate invitations to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual SCO summit next year. The SCO countries are India, Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
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While the SCO defense ministers’ meeting is being organized in Delhi, it is expected that the mission meeting will be held in Goa in early May. India has already invited Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang for the meeting.
The meeting of security ministers is expected to discuss various regional security issues, including threats and the situation in Afghanistan. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the meeting, they said.
Pakistan has not said whether Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif will attend these meetings. If Asif decides to attend the defense ministers’ meeting in person, it will be the first visit from Islamabad to India since 2011. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited India that year. Khar is currently the foreign minister.
There have been speculations that Pakistan may send Khar for the SCO foreign ministers meeting. In May 2014, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited India to attend the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In December 2015, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan, and a few days later Modi paid a brief visit to the country. Relations between India and Pakistan took a serious hit when Indian jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot, Pakistan in February 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack. . Relations continued after India in August 2019 abandoned the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two separate states.
In his annual report for 2022 released on Monday, the Minister of External Affairs said that there is no rest in terrorism supported by the border in Pakistan and Islamabad has not shown sincerity in delivering justice. terrorist attack in Bombay.
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