Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto dismissed rumors surrounding his trip to India and made it clear that they should not be “misconstrued in terms of bilateral ties” between the two neighbors.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed last week that Bilawal would travel to India for the first time in almost ten years to attend a conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Goa.
Three wars have been fought between the nuclear-armed neighbors, and relations have been tense for years.
In an interview with local media on Thursday, Bilawal said that he had not asked for a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India will host a SCO gathering in Goa on May 4 and 5. Russia and China are two of the SCO’s eight political and security members.
We adhere to the SCO charter, so our visit should not be viewed as bilateral but rather within the framework of the SCO. Our attendance at the summit demonstrates Pakistan’s ongoing dedication to the SCO charter and process as well as the significance the area holds in terms of Pakistan’s foreign policy aspirations, according to Bilawal.
They cannot allow India to further isolate Pakistan, he argued.
No request has been made for a bilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India on this occasion, according to sources on state-run radio.
It will be a high-ranking Pakistani official’s first trip to India since former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saw the swearing-in of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.