Pakistan to skip India-chaired SCO Chief Justice meet


As India prepares to hold the Shanghai cooperation organisation (SCO) Chief Justice meeting from 10-12 March, Pakistan is the only country to skip the meeting. The meeting comes given India is the chair of the grouping & as a protocol, extended invite to all the members of the grouping. The 20-year-old group has members from Russia, India, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. 

Representatives from all countries including Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are gathering for in-person meetings barring Pakistan. Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial who was expected to attend the meeting virtually earlier has decided to skip the meeting.


India late evening, on Thursday, received information from Pakistani authorities that Pakistan’s Chief Justice will not be attending the meeting, something that was later publicly confirmed by the Pakistani Foreign ministry. In a statement, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said, ‘due to his unavoidable commitments on the scheduled meeting dates, the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan will not be able to participate in the SCO Meeting of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts scheduled from 10-12 March 202. He has accordingly conveyed his regrets to his Indian counterpart who is the current chair/host of the meeting.”

The Russian Chief Justice Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Lebedev, Kazakhstan’s Chairman of the Supreme Court Aslambek Mergaliyev, and Kyrgyzstan’s top Judge Zamirbek Bazarbekov will all be present in person. Iran, the latest member to join the grouping will also be present at the meeting. Iran will be represented by Dr Mohammad Mossadegh Kahnamoui, first deputy of the head of the judiciary.


The meeting will hold discussions and deliberations on important legal matters. India, as the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is also preparing to host its first ministerial meeting. The Energy Ministers will meet on March 14th, marking the beginning of a series of meetings leading up to the SCO summit, which will be held under India’s presidency.

Along with the Energy Ministers’ meeting, India will be holding meetings for the Defense, National Security Advisor (NSA), Interior, and Environment Ministers. Transport and Culture Ministerial meetings will be held in April, followed by a Defense Ministerial meeting, and a Foreign Ministerial meeting in May, which will take place in Goa. Finally, the SCO summit is scheduled for June 25th in Delhi.

The SCO, which spans over 60 per cent of the Eurasian landmass and is home to 40 per cent of the world’s population, significantly impacts the global economy, accounting for 30 per cent of the global GDP. Furthermore, Iran’s recent entry into the organization means that it will participate in its meetings as a full member for the first time this year, under the Indian presidency.


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