Imran Khan Could Skip SCO Summit In New Delhi Over Worsening India-Pakistan Ties

SCO Summit, New Delhi: Pakistan PM Imran Khan is likely to ignore India’s invitation to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO) summit scheduled to be hosted by India in New Delhi later this year.

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Khan is instead likely to send a representative of his government to the SCO meet in India, said reports. Instead of attending the summit himself, PM Khan is likely to send a junior minister given worsening ties between New Delhi and Islamabad over Kashmir issue.

“Given the deterioration in India-Pakistan relationship since the airstrikes at Balakot terror camp in Pakistan, Prime Minister Khan will find it very hard to justify his visit to India. He will skip the SCO meeting. Most likely, he will send his foreign minister,” a source told IANS.

Earlier, India’s External Affairs Ministry said New Delhi will invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the 19th council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which will be hosted by India later this year.

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“As per the established practices and procedures within SCO, all eight members of SCO, as well as four observer states and other international dialogue partners, will be invited (by India),” the ministry said.

India and Pakistan both became full members of the SCO in June 2017. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to promote multilateral economic cooperation.

Earlier, China instigated by Pakistan failed to achieve an outcome on the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The US, UK, France and Russia, four permanent members of the UNSC, with the backing of Germany, frustrated China from getting its way on the matter in the closed-door meeting in New York. It was the second such meeting in the UNSC on Kashmir since August 2019.