India-Pak foreign ministers attend SCO meet, no bilateral talks


New Delhi, Oct. 12: External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India Sushma Swaraj on Friday shared the stage with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Dushanbe in Tajikistan. The leaders are attending the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (CHG).

Swaraj and Qureshi are at a multilateral forum together for the second time within a month following the heated exchanges during the SAARC foreign ministers’ meeting along the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.

“SCO family photograph - as they say picture speaks a thousand words! EAM @SushmaSwaraj with other leaders at #SCO Heads of Government Council Meeting in Dushanbe. Geographic area of SCO has been an inspiration for physical, scientific, spiritual & cultural progress for the world,” tweeted Indian MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar along with the forum photograph where the India-Pakistan foreign ministers can be seen on opposite ends of the stage.

Later delivering her statement at the meeting, Swaraj said, “Terrorism remains the most overwhelming threat to our common goals of development and prosperity. As the footprint of terrorism expands, governments must assume their national responsibility and cooperate with each other.”

India had accepted Pakistani offer of talks between the two foreign ministers in New York last month but within 24 hours called them off citing Pakistan-sponsored terror and incitement of violence in Kashmir.

Asked about the possibility of any meeting between Swaraj and Qureshi in Dushanbe, the Pakistani foreign office spokesperson had earlier said that Islamabad “had not made any efforts to schedule talks with India” on the sidelines of the SCO in wake of events during UNGA.

“Pakistan has not shied away from talks with India and is open to discuss all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen and terrorism,” Dr Mohammad Faisal had added.

India and Pakistan armies for the first time were a part of military exercises together under the aegis of the SCO Peace Mission this year.

BRI on mind Swaraj bats for sovereignty

Meanwhile, in her remarks Swaraj advocated “an open, stable international trade regime based on centrality of the World Trade Organization”.

In comments alluding to the ambitious Chinese Belt and Roads Initiative (BRI), Swaraj underlined India is keen for enhanced connectivity but with respect for sovereignty of countries involved.

“All connectivity initiatives must be based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consultations, good governance, transparency, viability and sustainability,” she said.

It is the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of the SCO in June 2017.

India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.

India became a full member of the China-dominated grouping last year and New Delhi’s entry into it is expected to increase the bloc’s heft in regional geo-politics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.

Along with India, Pakistan was also granted membership of the SCO last year.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.

The bloc currently has eight member countries which represent around 42 per cent of the world’s population and 20 per cent of the global GDP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led an official delegation to the SCO Summit in Chinese city of Qingdao in June. — The Tribune With PTI inputs 

Related News

India, France ink €7.87 billion agreement for 36 Rafales

NEW DELHI, 23 Sept : India and France on Friday concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of €7.87 billion, the first fighter aircraft deal since the purchase of Sukhois from Russia in the late 90’s. The deal was signed by Defence…

Let's fight battle to build a better nation and see who wins: PM Modi to Pakistan

Mohua Chatterjee| TNN | Updated: Sep 24 : KOZHIKODE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday broke his silence on the Uri terror attack and tore into Pakistan for its role in supporting terror in the region. At his first public rally since the Uri incident, PM Modi challenged Pakistan - not at conventional war - but in…

Terror as state policy is war crime, Shah tells Pakistan

KOZHIKODE,September 25 : The BJP on Sunday reinforced Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to Pakistan, with party president tabling a statement on the terrorist attack on Uri, positing it as one in a decade-and-a-half of terror strikes against India by Pakistan. BJP president Amit Shah described Pakistan as a country…

Pakistan not getting support in UN on surgical strikes issue: Akbaruddin

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 1 : India has said that Pakistan approaching the United Nations on the issue of surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the LoC has not found any resonance in the world body and rejected claims that the UN mission monitoring ceasefire “has not directly observed” any firing…

Pakistan still in anaesthesia after surgery, says Parrikar

DEHRADUN/NEW DELHI, Oct, 2 : Pakistan is like a patient who has been given anaesthesia and doesn’t know that surgery has already been done on him, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday. The Minister’s remarks are first comments from a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) following the…

Baramulla: It was a terror attack, not a case of friendly fire, says Indian BSF

NEW DELHI, Oct. 4 : The Indian BSF denied reports of "friendly fire" resulting in casualties during the terror attack on the Baramulla camp even as speculation swirled about tense nerves leading to firing late on Sunday night. The border force said terrorists struck at a joint Army-BSF camp and this claimed the life of one…


Find Us on Facebook

From Social

Tokyo (Japan), Sept. 13: A new leadership assumed responsibilities at the Non Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA), Japan on Sunday. The new office bearers took oath of office and secrecy after a long fought battle resulting from dissatisfaction from those who…

Lama led officials assume responsibility in NRNA Japan