ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented move, India refused Pakistan’s participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) seminar on military medicine, healthcare, and pandemics, which was held in New Delhi on Tuesday.
India is currently the SCO President and is hosting a number of events. Pakistan was expected to attend the think tank conference with the theme “SCO Armed Forces Contribution in Military Medicine, Healthcare, and Pandemics” at the official level.
“In doing so, India has abused its current chair position and acted irresponsibly in denying a sovereign member State the right to participate in an SCO event,” a source familiar with the situation said.
According to Indian media reports, New Delhi objected to the Pakistani side’s map, which depicted Jammu and Kashmir as its territory. After the matter was brought to the attention of India’s external affairs ministry, the Pakistani side was asked to show the “correct map” or leave the seminar.
According to Indian media, the Pakistani delegation chose to stay away. According to sources in Islamabad, India has effectively withdrawn its invitation.
Pakistan rejected India’s argument that it could bar a member state from attending an SCO event due to a misunderstanding of the nature of a disputed territory between Pakistan and India.
“Jammu and Kashmir remain an internationally recognized disputed territory, the final disposition of which is to be determined in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions through a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations,” the source said.
In keeping with its strong commitment to the Shanghai spirit, as well as the SCO charter and objectives, Pakistan has taken a positive and constructive approach to the various SCO events being held under India’s current chairmanship.
Pakistan has urged India not to use its SCO chairmanship to further its own interests and politicize the organization.
Pakistan’s defense and foreign ministries have been invited by India to the SCO summits in April and May. Pakistan has not yet accepted the invitation from India.