Photo Source: ANI
Pakistan likely to participate in India-led SCO NSA meeting
Islamabad [Pakistan], March 28, 2023 (ANI): Pakistan has decided to participate in the upcoming National Security Advisor meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which is being hosted by India, said a source, adding that the mode of participation is yet to be finalized.
On March 29, India will host the meetings of SCO national security advisers (NSA) and top national security officials in New Delhi. The SCO consists of eight member states -- China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with several others as inviting or dialogue countries.
NSA Ajit Doval is likely to make opening remarks before the SCO NSAs level meeting will begin on Wednesday.Sources said the Pakistan representatives will also participate in the meeting.
Earlier, Pakistan also participated in the Meeting of Heads of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Tourism Administrations held in 'Kashi' (Varanasi).
G Kishan Reddy, Union minister for Tourism, Culture, and Development of the North Eastern Region, chaired the SCO Meeting. The action plan for 'Year of Tourism Development in the SCO Space in 2023' was also adopted at the meeting.
Earlier, Tribune reported that Pakistan has begun in-house consultations to decide whether to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meetings of the defense and foreign ministers in India since New Delhi has already extended invitations to Defense Minister Khawaja Asif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
The defense ministers' meeting is scheduled in April in New Delhi while foreign ministers would meet in May in Goa.India the current president of the eight-nation SCO is holding a series of events.
Barring one event where Pakistan was denied entry over a map controversy, Islamabad has attended all other events, including the chief justices' conference and meeting of energy ministers via video link, Tribune reports
India denied Pakistan's participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) seminar on armed forces' contributions to military medicine, healthcare, and pandemics, held in New Delhi on March 21.
India objected to the map used by the Pakistani side, showing Jammu and Kashmir as its territory.
After the matter came to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Pakistan side was asked to show the "correct map" or to stay away from the seminar.
Tribune reported that the Pakistani delegation chose to stay away while Pakistan media sources in Islamabad said India effectively withdrew the invitation.
A three-member Pakistan military delegation, headed by a brigadier, attended the meeting of an expert working group under the Council of Defence Ministers in person in New Delhi on Thursday, Tribune reported.
Sources said Foreign Minister Bilawal is keen to go to India for the SCO meeting. If Pakistan attends the defense and foreign ministers' meetings, it is possible that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif may also go to India in July for the SCO summit.
The relationship between Pakistan and India remains at a standstill despite efforts in recent times to normalize ties. If Pakistan sends a high-powered delegation to India for SCO, it may break the ice though it may not bring any dramatic change in the bilateral ties.
Sources said the final decision about Pakistani participation at the SCO ministerial meetings and a summit would be taken after due diligence. It would also depend on the political situation in Pakistan, they added, Tribune reported. (ANI)