New Delhi: India will extend invitations to all members of SCO including Pakistan as well as to the observer states for 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) heads of government meeting later this year, said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday.
“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. As per the established practice and procedure within SCO all eight members of SCO, as well as four observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited to attend the meeting,” said Kumar when asked whether Pakistan will be invited for the meeting.
India for the first time will host the next meeting of the SCO members states’ heads of government. Kumar, while addressing a weekly briefing, said that all heads of the government of member states including Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited as per the standard procedure.
The announcement by the MEA comes a day after Pakistan with the help of China tried to raise the Kashmir issue in the United Nations Security Council.
SCO is an intergovernmental organisation founded in Shanghai.
The SCO currently comprises eight Member States — China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership — Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia — and six “Dialogue Partners” — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.
In June 2019, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Imran Khan attended SCO summit in Bishkek. During the summit, Modi made a veiled attack on Pakistan while addressing the plenary session, stating that the countries which support and finance terrorism must be held accountable.