Modi to invite PM Khan to SCO summit in India

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NEW DELHI, Jan 16 (DNA): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected
to invite PM Imran Khan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation heads
of government meeting in New Delhi, according to the Indian media.

“India will be hosting the heads of government summit later this year,”
said its foreign ministry spokesperson while addressing a press
conference on Thursday, reported NDTV.

“India will be hosting the heads of government summit later this year
(in October 2020). As per established practice and procedure within SCO,
all the eight members, as well as four observer states and other
international dialogue partners, will be invited,” Ministry of External
Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.

The SCO is a China-led economic and security bloc to which India and
Pakistan were admitted in 2017. India is hosting the SCO summit for the
first time.

The media reports said that as per protocol all heads of government
would be invited for the event. As per practice, the prime ministers of
India and Pakistan and presidents of Russia, China and other countries
attend the ‘Heads of State’ meeting.

This would be the first high-level meeting of the SCO that would be
organised here since India’s admission to the eight-member grouping.
India would be writing the letter of invitation addressed to the Prime
Minister of Pakistan since he is the head of government.

SCO General Secretary, on a visit to New Delhi had said, “The SCO Heads
of Government meeting will be held in India in the second half of
autumn. All member-states were very happy with the decision. There is
huge potential and India can play a very positive role.”

The economic and security bloc which initially comprised of China,
Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, included
India and Pakistan in 2017. India took over the presidency of the ‘heads
of government’ meeting last year and it was announced in the 18th
meeting of the SCO’s Council of heads of government held in Tashkent in
2019.

Since the meeting is going to be held in India and it is the first big
event that India will be hosting, we will have to wait and see if Prime
Minister Narendra Modi himself will play host.