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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial has decided not to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member-states three days meeting of chief justices being hosted by India from today (Friday) “due to his unavoidable commitments on the scheduled meeting dates.”

Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, while responding to media queries, confirmed that Pakistan will not be participating in the meeting, saying that as one of the active members of the SCO, Pakistan regularly participates in all SCO activities and constructively contributes to their outcomes.

“Due to his unavoidable commitments on the scheduled meeting dates, the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan will not be able to participate in the SCO Meeting of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts scheduled from 10-12 March 2023,” she said, adding that the chief justice has accordingly conveyed his regrets to his Indian counterpart who is the current chair/host of the meeting.

In August 2019, both Pakistan and India downgraded diplomatic relations and suspend bilateral trade after New Delhi revoked the special status of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, the two sides have cut off dialogue process and high-level exchanges.

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