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FM Bilawal Bhutto travels on first-ever visit to India

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari arrived in Goa, India, on Thursday for his first visit to the neighboring country to attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting.

Bilawal is leading the country’s delegation to the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Goa on May 4-5.

In a tweet sent from Karachi to India, Bilawal underlined Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the SCO charter.

“My visit [to India] demonstrates how much Pakistan values the SCO and how seriously it regards SCO membership,” he added in a brief video message.

The foreign minister expressed his eagerness to interact on a personal level with the nations that make up the global forum.

I look forward to meaningful discussions with my peers from friendly countries during my tour, which is solely focused on the SCO, Bilawal said on the microblogging website.

FM Bilawal is trusted by politicians.

A day earlier, the foreign minister discussed his maiden trip to India with coalition allies and the leader of Jamat-e-Islami (JI).

Bilawal called the leaders of the National Party (NP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, and the JI Ameer Sirajul Haq.

Over the course of his two days in Goa, he talked with them.

SCO gathering

The FM will attend the SCO moot at the invitation of the current chair, Indian Minister for External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar, according to a statement released by the Foreign Office.

The FO spokeswoman had stated that Pakistan’s attendance at the summit “reflects Pakistan’s commitment to the SCO charter and processes and the importance that Pakistan accords to the region in its foreign policy priorities.”

According to sources within the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the foreign minister would go on a chartered airplane from Karachi to Goa with a delegation.

According to individuals with knowledge of the development, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA) was called by the Indian civil aviation authorities to finalize the special plane’s itinerary.

In addition to finalizing the agenda and decisions to be approved by the 17th SCO Council of Heads of State Meeting set to take place in New Delhi on July 3–4, 2023, the council will discuss significant regional and international issues and sign various institutional instruments.

The signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Bahrain, Kuwait, the Maldives, Myanmar, and the United Arab Emirates to become SCO Dialogue Partners will also take place during the meeting.

FM Bilawal will also meet with his counterparts from friendly nations outside of the SCO.

The main goals of the SCO are to strengthen regional peace, security, and stability as well as mutual trust and friendly relations between member states. They also include developing a framework for effective cooperation in the areas of politics, trade, economy, culture, science, and technology, as well as in areas like energy, transportation, tourism, and environmental protection.

Pakistan has actively and constructively contributed to all SCO operations since joining in 2017 in order to realize the organization’s multi-sectoral goals and objectives in a way that benefits both parties.

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