India has invited Pakistan’s foreign minister and chief justice to the Shanghai summit

New Delhi | Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Billawal Bhutok and Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial have been invited to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting chaired by India. Both were invited through the Indian High Commission office in Pakistan. The delegation from Pakistan was invited to the SCO India meeting in a situation where the diplomatic relations between the two countries are not very comfortable. A meeting of the Shanghai Corporation Foundation will be held in Goa next month.

A month ago, Pakistani Foreign Minister Billawal Bhutto Zardari’s comments targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a UN Security Council meeting sparked outrage and protests in India. India has invited him to the Shanghai meeting while the wound is still there. If Bilwal Bhutto accepts the invitation, he will be the first Pakistani foreign minister to visit India in 12 years. The last Pakistani foreign minister to visit India was Hina Rabbani Khair in 2011.

It is worth noting that India’s invitation came within days of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s statement that he was ready for talks with India. Shahbaz Sharif expressed his willingness to negotiate with India in an interview given to Al Arabiya TV from Dubai last week. They had three wars with India. But all that brought only misery, poverty and unemployment to the people. Shahbaz’s statement was that they want to live in peace with India if they can solve their real problems.

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran are also members of SCO. India has extended invitations to the foreign ministers of China and Russia along with other Central Asian countries. Iran, the organization’s newest member, will attend the group’s meeting as a full member for the first time under India’s presidency.

The latest Shanghai Summit was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.