Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the decision to attend the SCO meeting in India earlier this month proved “productive and positive” for the country.
Addressing a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday, Bilawal said that it was important for his ministry to project Pakistan’s case and point of view not only in India but also in front of other participants of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
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“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,” he said.
“We thought we should project Pakistan’s case and point of view in front of not only India but also other participant countries,” he informed the committee. Bilawal travelled to Goa on May 4 to attend a conclave of the SCO the next day, the first such high-level visit to India from Pakistan since 2011.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who hosted the SCO meeting in Goa, accused his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal of being a “promoter, justifier and a spokesperson of a terror industry”.
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. He said that former foreign secretaries, leaders of allied parties and other stakeholders were taken on board for their feedback regarding participation in the event in India.
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Responding to a question regarding Afghanistan, he said a stable, prosperous and secure Afghanistan was in the interest of the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. “The issue of Afghanistan had also been discussed with the participants of the SCO conference during sideline meetings,” he said.
(With agency inputs)