While attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Tashkent, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that there are no plans to hold bilateral meetings between India and Pakistan.
Thus far, the foreign minister has had six bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of Central Asian states on the sidelines of the conference, which is serving as preparation for the SCO Heads of State meeting scheduled to be held later in September.
FM Bilawal held meetings with the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, China, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
“There are no plans of any meetings between Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in September,” Bilawal said, asserting that India and Pakistan are both part of the SCO but will only be engaging in the broader context of the conference activities.
He also said, “India is our neighbouring country. While one can decide on a lot of things, one cannot choose its neighbours, therefore, we should get used to living with them.”
Bilawal added that following 2019 escalation of conflict between the two countries, constructive dialogue with India had become difficult and the recent rise of Islamophobia was making an already difficult task even more challenging.
He later tweeted about the conference and said that at the meeting he emphasized the organization’s important role and reiterated the commitment to collective efforts in achieving regulate peace & economic prosperity.