Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited to India to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) heads of government meeting when New Delhi hosts it later this year, the government said today. According to the government, all eight members and four observer states of SCO will be invited for the regional summit.
"India will be hosting the heads of government summit later this year. As per established practice and procedure, all eight members and four observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited... all eight members will be invited," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said this evening.
The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc to which India and Pakistan were admitted in 2017. The group was founded in 2001 by Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Imran Khan had attended the SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek last June, during which PM Modi had said countries sponsoring, aiding and supporting terrorism must be held accountable, in a stern message directed at Pakistan.
Underscoring the aim of the SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, PM Modi had also called for a global conference to combat it.
The government's announcement today comes hours after Pakistan's efforts to raise Jammu and Kashmir at the United Nations Security Council through China failed on Wednesday as most members of the UNSC said it was not the place to discuss the issue, sources told NDTV. This was China's third initiative to hold a closed-door meeting to discuss Jammu and Kashmir at the UNSC.
The government has condemned the move by Pakistan, calling its efforts a "misuse of UNSC".