India has invited Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to attend the assembly of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to be held in New Delhi in April, based on a media report on Wednesday.
IMAGE: BSF and Pak Rangers on the flag-lowering ceremony on the Attari- Wagah border close to Amritsar. Photograph: PTI Photo
India at the moment holds the presidency of the SCO, which includes China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
As President of the SCO, India is ready to host a sequence of conferences.
Diplomatic sources instructed The Express Tribune newspaper that the Indian authorities shared the formal invitation with the Pakistan Foreign Office on Tuesday.
There was no instant affirmation from New Delhi on the Pakistani media report.
India earlier invited Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, in addition to shared an invite for the assembly of overseas ministers of SCO, the report mentioned.
The chief justice, nevertheless, skipped the assembly of the SCO chief justices and as a substitute Justice Muneeb Akhtar attended the assembly via a video hyperlink just lately, it mentioned.
The overseas ministers’ assembly is scheduled for May in Goa whereas the defence ministers’ huddle will likely be held in New Delhi in April.
The Pakistani authorities has mentioned that it has not but taken a choice on whether or not Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari or Defence Minister Asif will attend the conferences in India.
Bilawal and China’s Qin Gang are among the many overseas ministers of the SCO member nations invited by India for the assembly it’s scheduled to host in May.
The Pakistan Foreign Office has mentioned that the choice will likely be taken at an acceptable time.
If the Pakistani overseas minister attends the assembly in individual, it will likely be the primary such go to from Islamabad to India since 2011.
Then Pakistani overseas minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited India that 12 months. Khar is at the moment serving because the minister of state for overseas affairs.
In May 2014, then-Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif visited India to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.
In December 2015, then exterior affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan and days later, Modi made a quick go to to the neighbouring nation.
The ties between India and Pakistan got here underneath extreme pressure after India’s warplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist coaching camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror assault.
The relations additional deteriorated after India introduced the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s particular powers and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into Union territories in August 2019.
The SCO was based at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Over the years, it has emerged as one of many largest trans-regional worldwide organisations. India and Pakistan grew to become everlasting members of the Beijing-based SCO in 2017.