Pakistan News

Pakistani, Indian NSAs to attend SCO meeting

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Indian National Security Advisers will be attending an upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Dushanbe next week, but would not be meeting each other on the sidelines.

Sixteenth meeting of the secretaries of the security council of the SCO’s member states is being held on June 22-23 in Dushanbe.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr Moeed Yusuf will represent Pakistan at the meeting.

The participation of both Pakistani and Indian NSAs in the session set off speculations of a likely meeting between the two officials.

Dr Yusuf, while talking to Dawn, said: “There is absolutely no possibility of any bilateral meeting with Indian counterpart at SCO.”

He would, however, be meeting counterparts from Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and China.

Pakistan and India had earlier this year recommitted themselves to the ceasefire arrangement at the Line of Control after backchannel contacts. The agreement on resumption of ceasefire was followed by a meeting of the Permanent Commission on Indus Waters after a break of nearly two-and-a-half years leading to an impression that the two rivals were gradually moving towards normalisation. However, things went silent afterwards.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart have in recent months been at the same place twice, but no meeting took place. The government, despite the backchannel engagement, has publicly insisted that there would be no dialogue with India till it revoked its Aug 5, 2019, action of annexing Occupied Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2021

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