According to the Diplomatic resources, Indian government invited Khawaja Asif, Defence Minister of Pakistan to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which is to be held in April 2023 in India.
The Indian government sent the formal invitation letter to foreign office of Pakistan as India is currently holding the Presidential rights of SCO which includes China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, India and Central Asian States.
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Earlier Indian Chief Minister invited Chief Justice of Pakistan to participate in meeting of foreign Ministers of SCO. However CJP skipped the meeting and Justice Muneeb Akhtar attended the meeting through video call.
The government of Pakistan has yet not responded to invitation and the decision of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto anf Khwaja Asif’s partcipation in meeting is still under process. As President of CSO, New Delhi is ready to host number of events this year.
Events to be held in India this year
The Foreign Ministers’ meeting will held in May this year in Goa while Defence Ministers’ meeting is scheduled in April. The Foreign Office of Pakistan has emphasised that the decision about invitation will be out on time.
India is also set to host SCO summit this year and chances are clear that Prime Minister Pakistan Shahbaz Shareef will be invited on summit. However the participation from Pakistan is not clear yet, Pakistan is unlikely to stay out because of importance of events.
Relations between Pakistan and India remained disturbed from many years due to several reasons but both of the countries are accepted as full members of organizations on condition that they will not undermine SCO work because of their tense relationship.
Both India and Pakistan decided to restore trade relations in 2021 but Imran Khan government backtracked because of fearing public backlash. The countries also hoped for renewing of ceasefire along Line of Control (LOC) which was broken by India in August 2018.