Islamabad, 25 June, 2023 (GNP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will virtually attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting, which will be held in New Delhi on 4 July, the Foreign Office said.
The decision came after India opted for a virtual format, with no reasons cited for the change, but reports suggest that Russia and China would have faced physical challenges in attending the meeting.
According to the spokeswoman from the Foreign Office, Pakistan received an official invitation from the Indian Prime Minister. In the weekly briefing, she said, “We have received the official invitation from Indian prime minister for our prime minister for the virtual meeting of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that is due to take place on 4 July. Pakistan will be represented at the summit. We will be announcing our participation in the coming days.”
While the reason behind India’s shift to a virtual meeting remains undisclosed, Pakistan continues to engage with the interim government in Kabul, Afghanistan.
In response to the Afghan Taliban’s renewed proposal for Pakistan to engage in talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) regarding the latter’s terrorist activities against Pakistan, the spokeswoman said, “We have responded to such questions in the past as well. I would like to invite you to a statement made by our foreign minister in which he stated Pakistan will not negotiate with individuals who are responsible for the killing of Pakistani civilians and law-enforcement officials.”