SCO foreign ministers arrive in India for summit, Pakistan top diplomat also left for Goa
By Mashal Khan
ISLAMABAD - India hosting the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Foreign Ministers summit in its beautiful city of Goa as top diplomats of member countries arrived on Thursday.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is the main focused of the meeting as he is the first FM to visit India since 2011.
Ahead of his departure for India, Zardari said he is on way to Goa city.
"Will be leading the Pakistan delegation at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization CFM. My decision to attend this meeting illustrates Pakistan’s strong commitment to the charter of SCO," he wrote on twitter before the departure on Thursday.
"During my visit, which is focused exclusively on the SCO, I look forward to constructive discussions with my counterparts from friendly countries."
However, the country’s main opposition party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has condemned the Zardari visit to India and said the country foreign policy is dead.
"Strongly condemn FM visit of Goa, participation would have been possible on video but problem is you people in love of Modi are ready to disregard atrocities committed by Modi Janta in Kashmir and hardships Muslims of India and minorities to make Modi Janta happy. Pak Foreign policy is dead by all definitions of the word,"Fawad Chaudhry, former Information Minister and spokesman of PTI tweeted.
Pakistan and India relations remained tense since 2019, after New Delhi scrapped the special status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in Islamabad downgrading its diplomatic ties with India.
Last month, Pakistan Defense Minister Khawaja Asif also avoided participating in SCO Defense Ministers meeting in India and his deputy attended the summit via video link.
Clashes in Manipur Ahead of SCO meeting
Meanwhile, clashes and violence reported in the Indian north eastern state of Manipur ahead of the SCO meeting and the government called army to control the situation.
According to Indian media, local authorities also imposed a curfew in the eight districts of state after violence in various parts erupted and deployed army to control the situation.
Internet service has also been suspended in the areas.
Ahead of SCO FM summit in India, tension and violence erupted in the north eastern state of Manipur. Govt called the army and imposed curfew to calm the situation #India— The South Asia Times (@thesouthasiatim) May 4, 2023