Yet to take decision on Indian invitation to SCO moots, says FO spox

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD : Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahara Baloch said on Thursday a decision was yet to be taken on an invitation sent by the Indian government to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) moot later this year.

Addressing a weekly briefing, the spokesperson said she would make an announcement if any decision regarding the participation of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the India-hosted reginal huddle was taken.

Last month, it emerged that India has invited Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and Bilawal Bhutto to the SCO meetings.

The SCO is a key regional forum comprising Pakistan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and India. It focuses primarily on the areas of trade, finance, commerce and socio-economic cooperation among the SCO member states. Currently, the presidency of the forum is held by India, which will organise a series of events, including a conference of the chief justices of member states and a moot of the foreign ministers this year.

The chief justices of the SCO will meet in March while the meeting of the foreign ministers is scheduled for May in Goa.

Ms Baloch said no decision had been taken about sending back the Pakistan’s Head of Mission to Kabul Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani, who survived an assassination bid last year. She said talks were being held with Afghan officials for security of the Pakistani embassy.

The spokesperson said Director General International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi would be in Pakistan for two days from next Wednesday to visit different institutions employing nuclear technology for health, energy, power generation and industrial development.

She said the visit would provide opportunity to explore avenues to advance cooperation for peaceful application of nuclear technology for socio-economic development.

About the ongoing situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson said India was carrying out an eviction drive in the occupied territory to dispossess the Kashmiris of their land.

She said no such practice could subdue the Kashmiri people and Pakistan will continue to support them in their just struggle for right to self-determination.

About the situation in Turkiye and Syria after the earthquake, the spokesperson said the ministry was in contact with the officials there and so far there were no reports of any casualties of Pakistani nationals.