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Monday, May 29, 2023

Pakistan to attend anti-terror meeting in India

Pakistan will send a three-member delegation. This will be the first delegation to visit India since the new government took charge in Islamabad.

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Pakistan will participate in the upcoming meeting of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO RATS). The meeting will take place in New Delhi from 15-20 May 2022. The Foreign Office, Thursday, confirmed the news.

The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). It also has four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey).

Read more: Pakistan expected to resume trade ties with India?

Moreover, SCO’s RATS is a permanent body of the grouping for countering terrorism, extremism, and separatism in the Eurasian region. It usually takes place in Tashkent. However, since India is the current chair of SCO-RATS, the meeting will take place in New Delhi. Pakistan will send a three-member delegation to India to attend the SCO RATS meeting.

“It is a regular expert-level meeting which all SCO member countries will join and there is nothing unusual about it. These meetings are periodically held in Tashkent but since India is the current chair of SCO-RATS, the meeting is being hosted by India in New Delhi,” Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said at a weekly news briefing.

A working-level Pakistan delegation, led by MoFA, would participate in the meeting with participation from other officials,” he added.

Pak-India ties

This will be the first delegation to visit India since the new government took charge in Islamabad. Important to note that Pakistan and India share complex and mostly hostile ties, especially on the Kashmir issue.

Asim Iftikhar, in the same news briefing, said the ulterior motive of Indian moves was to undermine the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Read more: Remapping political structure in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir

While Pakistan and India do not see eye-to-eye on key issues, Pakistan has always urged friendly ties – only if India shows willingness. Both the former government and the incumbent government have been consistent with their stance on improving relations with India. However, India is yet to respond in a positive manner.

So far, India has refused to take actions that will benefit both sides. For instance, India recently (and again) violated the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) by announcing a 540 MW Kwar hydroelectric project located on the Chenab River. Pakistan’s water authorities have expressed reservations over this as it will ultimately divert the water flow.

“Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters has already formally raised objection on this project with his Indian counterpart. And this is a practice that we continue to follow, as we keep a close watch on these developments and we will take all necessary steps to protect our interest,” Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said.

Read more: India to build another dam on Chenab in violation of IWT