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India will invite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend SCO summit, confirms MEA


In a significant development, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday (January 16) confirmed that India will extend an invitation to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet, scheduled to be held in India later this year.

“As per the established practice and procedure within the SCO, all eight members of the SCO, as well as four observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited to attend the meeting,” Kumar told media.

“It is now a public knowledge that India will be hosting the SCO council of heads of government meeting later this year. The meeting is held annually at the prime minister’s level and it discusses the SCO’s program and multilateral economic and trade co-operation,” he added.

India will be hosting the SCO summit for the first time. Notably, the SCO is dominated by China and it has now become a significant grouping of emerging economies, including India. Founded in 2001, Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the founding members of SCO.

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In 2005, India became part of the SCO as “observer” and it got full membership in 2017. It was the same year when Pakistan also joined as SCO member. India took over the presidency of the SCO summit at Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2019.

The MEA spokesperson also slammed China for helping Pakistan in trying to raise the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), saying Beijing should keep in mind the global consensus over Kashmir issue and should not indulge in such activities in the future.

Kumar said that Islamabad has repeatedly sought help from China to raise the Kashmir issue at the UNSC, but it failed again to garner the support of global community over this matter. He added that China’s attempt to help Pakistan failed on Wednesday (January 15) as other countries of the 15-member council understand that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.

Source: Zee News