All Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members, including Pakistan and China, have received official invitations from India to the upcoming conference of foreign ministers, which will take place in Goa from May 4–5.
The new foreign ministers of Pakistan and China — Bilawal Bhutto and Qin Gang — have also been included in the invitees’ list, reported news agency ANI.
India will host important ministerial gatherings and the summit this year while serving as the massive grouping’s chairman, which it assumed in September of last year.
At the SCO Film Festival, which will take place in Mumbai later this month, Pakistan has not taken part. All nations have submitted their films. However, Pakistan is the only one that didn’t send any for the group’s third film festival. The presence of Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto at the meeting has not yet been confirmed by the Pakistani side, according to sources, reported ANI.
Regarding issues of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, relations between the two nations have been tense for a long time, notwithstanding Islamabad’s demands for the reinstatement of Article 370 for the formerly Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Additionally, any improvement in relations between the two nations has been overshadowed by FM Bilawal Bhutto’s comments against PM Modi made at the United Nations (UN) last month.
The 20-year-old group is made up of four central Asian nations — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan — as well as Russia, India, China, and Pakistan.
Iran is the most recent nation to join, and under India’s Presidency, it will attend meetings of the organisation for the first time as an official member.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s most recent gathering was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
In order to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The SCO Council of Heads of State’s 22nd Meeting is the organization’s first physical summit since 2019. India is interested in developing better supply chains because it wants to become a manufacturing centre, which necessitates cooperation with the main economies in the area.
In order to allow better supply chains through improved connectivity, Prime Minister Modi pushed for transit rights during the summit. Previously, India had difficulty reaching Central Asian markets without transit rights across Pakistan’s territory.
The geopolitics and economics of the SCO with the Eurasian states are important to India. The SCO might provide as a venue for India to pursue its Connect Central Asia policy.
The vast landmass surrounding India’s extended neighbourhood is occupied by the SCO member states, where India has both economic and security interests.
Afghanistan’s stability depends on the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. India’s membership in the SCO offers a crucial counterbalance to some of the other organisations it is a part of. India’s only international forum for dealing with Pakistan and Afghanistan in close proximity is the SCO.