Bilawal Bhutto arrives in Goa, says committed to SCO

Bilawal Bhutto

Rama Krishna Sangem

Finally, Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari arrived in Goa on May 4, Thursday, for the ministerial level meeting of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation). Russian  Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and China Foreign Minister Qin Gang too came to India to attend the meeting chaired by India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar. The meeting will be held for two days, on May 4 and 5.

Though India said it is not appropriate to focus on one particular member – Pakistan – at the SCO, all eyes were on Bilawal Bhutto as his visit was in doubt till the last minute. Pakistan wanted Dr Jaishankar to have a one-on-one dialogue with Bhutto, on the sidelines of SCO ministerial meeting. But, India told Islamabad that it might not be possible as SCO was a multilateral forum.

Still, what we hear is that Jaishankar is likely to meet Qin Gang and Lavrov exclusively at the meeting, though the same privilege is denied to Bilawal Bhutto. It is a known fact that the relations between India and Pakistan are not cordial for the last decade and more. The last Pakistan foreign minister who came to India was Heena Rabbani Khar in 2011. Then Pak PM Nawaz Sherif came to India in May 2014, for the oath taking of PM Modi.


Frosty Ties

India’s relations with Pakistan turned bad since Mumbai terror attack in November 2008. But the worst level witnessed after Pulwama terror attack in 2018. After that the situation remained frosty. Successive Pak PMs – Imran Khan and Shebaz Sherif, now, too haven’t adopted friendly relations with India, especially after the Modi government abolished Article 370 in August 2019.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s current visit may not be a big development in terms of bilateral ties, but certainly it is an indication that Pakistan is keen on improving friendship with India. This meeting will also pave way for PM Shebaz Sherif’s possible visit to India for SCO summit meeting in New Delhi in mid-July. We need to see, what will be the reaction  of Bilawal before leaving for home on May 5, Friday.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at