India is to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) virtual conference to be held on November 30 for the first time. The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that all eight member countries including Pakistan have been invited for this conference. India and Pakistan became permanent members of the SCO in 2017. Apart from India and Pakistan, the SCO includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Shrivastava said that as the host, we have sent invitations to eight SCO members. Also, invitations have been sent to the four observer countries, SCO Secretary General and SCO RATS Director.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address at the organization’s Digital Summit on Tuesday attacked repeated attempts to ‘unnecessarily’ bring bilateral issues to the SCO in violation of the group’s foundational principles. These remarks of Modi were seen in the context of Pakistan’s attempt to raise the Kashmir issue in the SCO.
Roman Babushkin, deputy head of the Russian mission, told the press conference that ‘it is part of the SCO Charter not to bring bilateral issues (to the SCO) agenda’ and we have made it clear to all member states that for the progress of multilateral cooperation. This should be avoided. ‘
A digital meeting of top security officials of SCO member states in mid-September was launched by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval after a Pakistani representative presented a map that incorrectly showed Kashmir. New Delhi condemned Pakistan for ‘open disrespect’ of the rules of the meeting.