New Delhi: At a time when the bilateral relationship between Indian and Pakistan is undergoing a rough phase over the Kashmir issue following the abrogation of Article 370, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday stated that the neighbouring country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which will be hosted by New Delhi later this year. He said that all 8 countries and 4 observers will be invited for th meeting.

“As per the established practice and procedure within the SCO, all 8 members of the SCO, as well as 4 observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited to attend the meeting,” Raveesh Kumar said in a press briefing.

He informed that the meeting is being held annually at the Prime Minister’s level and it discusses the SCO’s multilateral economic and trade co-operation.

“It is now a public knowledge that India will be hosting the SCO council of heads of government meeting later this year. The meeting is held annually at the Prime Minister’s level and it discusses the SCO’s program & multilateral economic and trade co-operation,” he added.

Notably, India is hosting the annual meeting of SCO, the world’s largest multinational defence alliance, for the first time at the end of this year.

As per updates, all heads of government would be invited for the event. The heads of government include presidents of Russia, China and other countries.

In this regard, India said it would be writing the letter of invitation to Pakistan Prime Minister since he is the head of the government.

SCO’s Secretary-General Vladamir Norov, who is in New Delhi on a four-day visit, on Wednesday held talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and stated the all the members of the group are happy with India that it is hosting the event this year.

He further had stated that India has huge potential to fuel the economic growth in the region.

Founded at a Shanghai summit in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the SCO now has India and Pakistan as its members since June 2017.