Pakistan to Host SCO Summit in October, Invites All Member Heads of State Including India

Pakistan has announced it will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in October, inviting heads of state from all member countries, including India. Given the strained relations between the two nations over the past decade, this raises significant questions about who will represent India.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been tense since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initial efforts to foster goodwill with then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, including an unexpected visit to Pakistan in 2015 on Sharif’s birthday. However, subsequent terrorist attacks in Pathankot and Uri led to India’s retaliatory airstrikes and surgical strikes, severely deteriorating bilateral relations. For nearly nine years, no Indian Prime Minister or minister has visited Pakistan.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (Left) at SCO Summit held in Goa

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari attended the SCO foreign ministers meeting in Goa last year despite the frosty relations. As the October summit approaches, all eyes are on who will represent India. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed that as the current chair, Pakistan will invite all SCO member heads of government, expressing hope for full representation at the summit.

The October summit will focus on financial, economic, social-cultural, and humanitarian cooperation among SCO member countries. Ministerial and senior official meetings will precede the main event. Baloch emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to maintaining good relations with all countries and avoiding alignment with any specific international bloc.

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