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'International agenda imposed on Pakistan', says Imran's party as Bhutto set to attend SCO Summit in India

It would be the highest-level visit to India by any Pakistani leader in recent years and a possible opportunity to break the ice between the two nations.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Published on: April 22, 2023 12:54 IST
Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
Image Source : AP Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

SCO Summit: A day after Pakistan confirmed that its Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in India, a war of words started within the cash-strapped nation, where Opposition called it an "international conspiracy".

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party senior leader Fawad Chaudhry, in a social media post, lambasted the most-awaited trip of Bhutto, and claimed that the government of working on the directions of the "international agenda". 

According to him, building "good relations" with the neighbouring nation was a "global agenda" and added it was imposed on the incumbent government.

"Bilawal Bhutto's visit to India is like a stab in the back of the struggle of Kashmiris. Burying the issue of Kashmir and building relations with India is part of the international agenda under which this government was imposed on Pakistan," roughly translated the tweet of Fawad. 

Shockingly, the statement from Imran Khan's party came despite the fact the PTI Chief had said he wanted to build relations with New Delhi when he was the prime minister.

Not expected

It is worth mentioning ever since India sent an invitation to its neighbouring nation for the crucial meeting, which was scheduled between May 4-5 in Goa, it was speculated that Bhutto might attend the event personally. However, a recent spat between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Bhutto shattered all the speculations.

Moreover, his subsequent comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Gujarat riots, made it almost clear that he would not visit New Delhi for the SCO Summit.

However, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahrah Baloch confirmed Bhutto's visit- a development that could provide an opportunity to break the ice between the two neighbours.

“Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be leading the Pakistan delegation to the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) being held on May 4-5, 2023, in Goa, India,” Baloch said.

She said the Pakistan foreign minister would be attending the meeting as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had invited him to attend the SCO moot. “Our participation in the meeting reflects Pakistan’s commitment to the SCO Charter and processes and the importance that Pakistan accords to the region in its foreign policy priorities,” Baloch said.

Highest-level visit in past decade

It would be the highest-level visit to India by any Pakistani leader in recent years and a possible opportunity to break the ice between the two nations.

The ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after India’s warplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack.

The relations further deteriorated after India announced the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special powers and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into Union territories in August 2019.

Also Read: 'India blocks Pakistan’s participation in SCO Summit': Reports

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