Prime Minister Modi and Imran Khan to skip the SCO summit today
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will chair the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Monday, and both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan will not participate in the virtual meeting.
The council of heads of government is the second highest organ of the OCS and is responsible for managing the commercial and economic agenda of the group and approving its annual budget. This is the first time that India has hosted a meeting of the body since it was admitted as an eight-member group in 2017.
Pakistan’s participation in the meeting will be at the lowest level: the country will be represented by Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Secretary Andleeb Abbas. Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will be represented by their prime ministers.
Modi, Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping had joined the SCO virtual summit, chaired by Russia earlier this month.
People familiar with the events said, on condition of anonymity, that India has generally been represented at meetings of the SCO Heads of Government council at the Foreign Minister level, while Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had attended last year’s meeting in Uzbekistan. “Since India is the venue for the meeting this year, the vice president will preside over it,” one of the people said.
In January, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that the SCO Heads of Government council meeting is “held annually at the prime minister level” and that India would invite the eight SCO members and the four observer states and others. international dialogue partners to the meeting in November.
Modi is scheduled to visit his Varanasi constituency on November 30 to launch the Varanasi-Prayagraj highway project and take part in Deepotsav celebrations on the Ganges ghats.
Although Khan has joined virtual multilateral meetings hosted by other countries, he skipped the online meeting of leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) hosted by India in March to discuss ways to counter the Covid pandemic. -19.
The representative of Pakistan at that meeting had caused a stir by raising the issue of Kashmir.