India has formally sent invitations to all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) including Pakistan and China for the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting which will be held in Goa from May 4th-5th 2023.
India took over the chairmanship of the nine member mega grouping in September 2022 and will be holding key ministerial meetings and the summits this year. Pakistan has not participated in the SCO Film Festival to be held in Mumbai later this month. While all countries have sent entries, Pakistan is the only country that did not send any film for screening in the group’s third such film festival.
Relations between the two countries have been precarious for many years with regard to issues of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, even as Islamabad has been seeking restoration of Article 370 for the former Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for any talks.
Prime minister Narendra Modi pressed transit rights at the summit in order to facilitate stronger supply chains through enhanced connectivity; previously, India has struggled to access Central Asian markets without transit rights across Pakistan’s territory. The SCO’s significance for India lies in economics and geopolitics with Eurasian states.