Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers meeting in India earlier this month said that the decision to attend the meeting proved “productive and positive” for the country. In a briefing to a Senate panel on Thursday, the Minister said “As far as the Kashmir issue, bilateral issues between Pakistan and India and the responsibilities of multilateralism are concerned, my conclusion after the trip is that it is a productive and positive decision to participate in the event,” reported news agency PTI.
“We thought we should project Pakistan’s case and point of view in front of not only Indian but the other participant countries,” he further said to the committee.
Bilawal, who travelled to Goa to attend a conclave of the SCO on May 5 became the first Pakistani Foreign Minister to travel to India since 2011 for such a high-level visit.
Bilawal acknowledged that it was a difficult decision to participate in the SCO meeting and a lot of work was done by the Foreign Ministry to evolve a consensus, reported PTI.
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A feedback regarding participation of the Pakistani foreign minister in the event in India was taken from former foreign secretaries, leaders of allied parties and other stakeholders
“SCO is a multilateral forum and it provided opportunities to hold meetings with the world leadership and project Pakistan’s point of view on various points,” said Bilawal, as reported by the news agency.
The fact that China and Russia, an ally of Pakistan, were the founders of the SCO was also considered before taking a decision to attend the meet in India.
Bilawal also said that Pakistan would host the SCO conference in 2026-2027 and there was hope the Indian counterpart would attend the meeting.