Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari arrived in Goa on Thursday for his first-ever visit to India, with hopes for a successful meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers. He leads Pakistan’s delegation at the SCO’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, scheduled on May 4-5 in Goa.
Upon arrival, Bilawal expressed his optimism for a productive meeting and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the SCO’s charter. He added that he was looking forward to engaging bilaterally with the member countries of the international forum.
While some Pakistani politicians disagreed with the foreign minister’s visit, citing atrocities committed by Modi Janta in Kashmir and hardships faced by Muslims and minorities, Bilawal consulted with coalition partners and Jamat-e-Islami (JI) chief before his visit.
During the SCO meeting, the council will finalize the agenda and decisions to be adopted by the 17th SCO Council of Heads of State Meeting, scheduled to take place in New Delhi on July 3-4, 2023. The meeting will also witness the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with five countries, Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar, and the UAE, to become Dialogue Partners of SCO.
Since joining the SCO in 2017, Pakistan has actively and constructively contributed to all SCO activities to achieve its multi-sectoral aims and objectives. The SCO’s major objectives include promoting mutual confidence, strengthening regional peace, security and stability, and creating a framework for effective cooperation in various fields, such as politics, trade and economy, culture, science and technology, education, energy, transportation, tourism, and environmental protection, among others.