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ISLAMABAD: India has reportedly extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for attending the forthcoming ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) scheduled to be held in Indian city, Goa, on May 4-5, 2023.

Indian media outlets reported on Wednesday that as the president of the SCO, India has extended invitations to all member states, including Pakistan and China for the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting in Goa.

To Business Recorder’s query, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch neither confirmed nor denied receiving the invitation to the foreign minister from his Indian counterpart Jaishankar. She is expected to respond to the development in her weekly media briefing on Thursday (today).

However, diplomatic sources said that extending an invitation to foreign minister for attending the SCO ministerial meeting is not an “extraordinary” signaling being reported in certain media, adding that SCO is a platform to which Pakistan gives due importance and it has nothing to do with Pakistan-India tensions.

It is also not clear as to whether the foreign minister will be physically attending the SCO’s foreign ministers’ meeting in India or virtually participate in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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