Pakistan is in no rush to respond to India's invitation to the SCO.


Pakistan is in no rush to respond to India’s invitation to the SCO.
The invitation extended by New Delhi has been referred to by officials as “regular practice.”

As authorities have described New Delhi’s invitation to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to attend the important regional forum’s conference in May as “regular practise,” Pakistan is not in a rush to answer.

For the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conference scheduled for May in Goa, India has extended an invitation to the foreign minister.

On Wednesday, official sources acknowledged receiving the Indian invitation, but they cautioned that it was still too early to make any statements. “It is a common occurrence. As the SCO’s current President, India has extended an invitation to all of its members, including Pakistan, a representative said, downplaying the invitation’s importance.

The decision to attend the SCO foreign ministers conference would be made at the right moment and following consultations with all interested parties, according to the sources. However, a source close to the foreign ministry asserted that Bilawal would seize the chance to visit India because doing so would allow him to gain personal knowledge of the neighbouring nation.

According to the source, Bilawal has not missed a single multilateral engagement since taking office as foreign minister, therefore there is a strong likelihood that he would travel to Goa for the SCO conference.

Given the political unrest at the moment, it all relies on whether the government is still in power at that point. The SCO summit of heads of government is slated to take place in New Delhi in June following the gathering of foreign ministers.

The SCO process has never been hampered by Pakistan and India’s disagreements, despite their tense bilateral ties. Observers believe Islamabad’s participation in the SCO meetings in India is a definite possibility because the SCO’s major players like China and Russia don’t want the regional forum’s proceedings to overshadow the rivalry between the South Asian rivals.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan plus Pakistan, China, India, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan, currently has Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as its presidents.

As the SCO’s President, New Delhi will host a number of occasions, including the summit in 2023, a gathering of foreign ministers, and a conference of chief justices from member states.

The SCO’s chief justices will meet in March, while the foreign ministers will convene in May.

After promising not to sabotage the SCO’s efforts due to their bilateral disagreements, Pakistan and India were both admitted as full members of the powerful organisation a few years ago.