Pakistan has decided not to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting of chief justices, which will take place in New Delhi from March 10 to 12.
The SCO, which also includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, is now presided over by India. India will host several events while serving as the president of the regional forum, including a gathering of the chief justices of the member states.
India extended the invitation to the Pakistani chief justice, but Islamabad decided at the last minute about the country’s top adjudicator.
“As one of the active members of the SCO, Pakistan regularly participates in all SCO activities and constructively contributes to their outcomes,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement here on Thursday.
“Due to his unavoidable commitments on the scheduled meeting dates, the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan will not be able to participate in the SCO meeting of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts scheduled from 10-12 March 2023. He has accordingly conveyed his regrets to his Indian counterpart, the current chair/host of the meeting,” the statement added.
The current relationship between both countries played a significant part in Pakistan’s decision for the upcoming summit in New Delhi.
India-Pakistan has several unresolved issues, including Kashmir issues. Pakistani officials have repeatedly asked India to dialogue on the current issues, particularly Kashmir.
In a recent speech by the Foreign minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto, at the UN, raised the issue of Kashmir, to which the Indian permanent representative, Kamboj, reacted.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called on India to begin an honest and fruitful dialogue on the existing issues.
The relations between Pakistan and India further deteriorated when India removed the special status article for Kashmir in 2019. However, India explained it as a domestic matter and asked Pakistan to refrain from interfering in its domestic policies.
India-Pakistan is a neighbour and member state of several regional and inter-regional organizations, including the Shanghai cooperation organization.