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Travel to India proved productive for Pakistan: Bilawal

IANS | May 26, 2023 11:32 AM

ISLAMABAD: Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who became the first Pakistani Foreign Minister to travel to India since 2011 for a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting earlier this month, said the trip "proved productive and positive" for Islamabad.

In a briefing to a Senate panel on Thursday, the Minister said: "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 productive and positive decision to participate in the event, " reports Dawn news.

Bilawal had attended the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting on May 5 in Goa. The two-day event was hosted by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar as India is currently holding the SCO Presidency.

"We thought, we should project Pakistan's case and point of view in front of not only Indian but the other participant countries, " the Minister said at the briefing, adding that positive and productive meetings with all the Foreign Ministers of the members countries were held on the sideline of the event.

Bilawal also said that Pakistan would host the SCO conference in 2026-2027 and "there was hope" his Indian counterpart would attend the meeting.

During the Goa meeting, Bilawal and Jaishankar did not hold any bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the event.

The last time a Foreign Minister of Pakistan came to India was in July 2011 when the then-Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited for peace talks.

Established in June 15, 2001 in Shanghai, the SCO originally comprised Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

India and Pakistan became members subsequently.

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