Rajat Sharma

Why India decided to invite Imran Khan to SCO summit

AKB2610India on Thursday announced it would send invitation to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) scheduled for October this year. SCO is a regional economic and security bloc to which India and Pakistan were admitted in 2017. India will be hosting the SCO summit for the first time.

“As per established practice and procedure of SCO, all the eight members, as well as four observer states, and other international dialogue partners will be invited”, said the spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs.

For the MEA spokesperson, it was naturally difficult to predict whether the invitation will be accepted by the Pakistan PM. This invitation should neither be linked to the current bilateral relations between India and Pakistan nor should this be considered as India’s invitation to Imran Khan to come on an official visit to India.

Since Pakistan is a member of SCO, India, as host country, was bound to invite him. However, I feel that there are dim hopes of Imran Khan attending the summit. In the past, heads of government had sent their Foreign Ministers to this summit.

Since the SCO summit is almost a year away, nobody can predict what will happen ten months from now, even if Imran Khan decides to visit India.

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