India will be inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for this year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, suggests report.
According to Hindustan Times, a final decision on whether PM Khan attends the meeting, which will likely be held later in the year, will be made by Islamabad. A person familiar with developments told the Hindustan Times, “According to protocol and convention, an invitation will be extended to the Pakistani Prime Minister. It is up to Pakistan whether their Prime Minister or some other representative attends the meeting. Besides, there is still a long time before the meeting.”
The development has not been confirmed by Indian officials so far. Besides Pakistan, leaders from eight SCO member-nations -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also expected to attend the meeting.
The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc in which India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017. Its founding members included China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The SCO has four observer states, namely Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia. It has six dialogue partners, namely Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.
The SCO, which has its headquarters in Beijing, holds summits of heads of states as well as heads of government meetings annually in member countries. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the summit, the heads of the government meetings are attended by senior Cabinet Ministers.