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Last Updated : Jan 15, 2020 09:54 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

India to invite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for SCO summit: Reports

However, it is up to Pakistan whether they want to send their prime minister or some other representative instead

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited by India for this year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, reports suggest.

India will be hosting the SCO council of heads of government meeting for the first time later this year.

A person aware of the development told the Hindustan Times that India will extend an invitation to Khan as per protocol and convention. However, it is up to Pakistan whether they want to send their prime minister or some other representative instead. The call could be taken later this year, closer to the meeting.

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Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

The development has not been confirmed by Indian officials so far.

Besides Pakistan, leaders from eight SCO member-nations -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also expected to attend the meeting.

India and Pakistan had joined the political, economic, and security alliance as full members in 2017.

SCO’s Secretary-General Vladimir Norov was in New Delhi recently. On January 13, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted: “Received Secretary General #ShanghaiCooperationOrganization Vladimir Norov. Reviewed the progress in our cooperation as India prepares to take up the responsibility of chairing the Council of #SCO Heads of Government.”

On January 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had telephoned leaders of Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to greet them on the New Year, but had skipped Pakistan.

Tensions between the two neighbours rose dramatically in 2019 after the terror attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) at Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in February 2019.

India had responded by carrying out airstrikes on JeM training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. The following day, Pakistan’s aerial raid against Indian military positions in Kashmir was repulsed by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Tensions rose further when India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to J&K in August 2019. The Imran Khan government had slammed the move.

However, both countries had participated in the SCO military exercise held in Russia in 2019.

Separately, Russia will host a summit of the heads of state of SCO countries in July.

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First Published on Jan 15, 2020 08:35 am
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