Look forward to constructive discussions: Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto at Goa SCO Meet

Goa: Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Thursday he will hold “constructive discussions” in India at the meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Goa.

“On the way to Goa, India. Heads the Pakistani delegation to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization CFM. My decision to attend this meeting illustrates Pakistan’s strong commitment to SCO’s charter,” he said before leaving for India.

He added: “During my visit, which is exclusively focused on the SCO, I look forward to constructive discussions with my counterparts from friendly countries.”

Zardari, who will be the first foreign minister to visit India after a 12-year hiatus, said he intends to engage SCO members bilaterally.

ABP Live had first reported that India will reject the request for a bilateral meeting if requested by Pakistan.

READ ALSO: No separate meeting between Jaishankar and Pakistani Bhutto in Goa on SCO margins

Although there was initially talk of a possible meeting between the two sides, after the recent attack on an army truck in the Poonch district of Jammu in which five soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles were killed, New Delhi has decided to reject all such requests.

India blames Pakistan for the incident, allegedly carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed-affiliated People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF).

Jaishankar said last week: “It is very difficult for us to get in touch with a neighbor who is practicing cross-border terrorism against us. We have always told them to honor their commitment not to sponsor and carry out cross-border terrorism. We remain hopeful that one day we will reach that stage.”

Jaishankar will meet bilaterally with his Chinese and Russian counterparts Qin Gang and Sergey Lavrov respectively on the eve of the meeting of foreign ministers.

India is the current president of SCO. It became a member of the organization in 2017.

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Nayanima Basu

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