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Why the Russian Foreign Minister did not meet Bilawal

Last week, a meeting of foreign ministers of the 8 permanent members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Apart from India, foreign ministers of Russia, China and Pakistan participated in it. Our External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with Foreign Ministers of all countries except Bilawal. On the other hand, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari met foreign ministers of only three countries.

Now a section of Pakistani media is claiming that the meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Bilawal could not take place despite being scheduled because Lavrov did not reach on time. Reports claim that Lavrov did not want to upset India by meeting Bilawal. So he distanced himself from Bilawal.

How did this happen

  • Pakistan’s Strategic Affairs Expert and Defense Analyst Dr. Qamar Cheema has given detailed information on the case of Bilawal and Lavrov on social media.
  • Cheema says – The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Pakistan was fixed. Preparations had already been made for this. Our foreign minister went to meet Lavrov, according to the schedule. They waited for a long time, but the Russian Foreign Minister did not arrive. Overall, this meeting could not take place.
  • According to Cheema, this was a big reason for not meeting. Dr Jaishankar and Bilawal did not even say hi-hello despite sitting next to each other. Obviously the tension between the two countries was clearly visible. Lavrov sensed the urgency of the occasion. He did not want to take the risk of offending India.
  • During the Russia-Ukraine war, India did not even condemn Russia on any platform. Every time the Modi government asked to stop the war. During this, India also bought cheap fuel from Russia fiercely. Lavrov did not at all want that historical relations with India should be adversely affected.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister and Dr Jaishankar were also together in a meeting before the Uzbek President's dinner.  Even here the two could not talk.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister and Dr Jaishankar were also together in a meeting before the Uzbek President’s dinner. Even here the two could not talk.

It would have been better if Hina
had gone , besides Qamar Cheema, according to another journalist Gauhar Butt, it would have been better if Minister of State for External Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar had gone to Bilawal’s place in the SCO summit. He has vast experience in Diplomacy. Bilawal has also become a minister for the first time. He does not stand anywhere in front of Jaishankar. Butt says – SCO is a very important platform. China is the only one out of 8 countries, which gives some importance to Pakistan. That too because it has huge interest and one-sided investments in Pakistan. In such a situation, had Hina been present there, it might have made some difference.

According to Cheema, the question is whether Shahbaz Sharif and Narendra Modi will join hands when the SCO Head of the States meeting will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15 and 16 next month? When the Foreign Minister is not available, will the Prime Minister be able to meet? Expectations are low.

Next Month Important
For the SCO, the next month i.e. September is going to be very important. The heads of state of all 8 countries will converge in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The conference will continue till September 15 and 16. Apart from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Russian President Vladimir Putin can also participate in this meeting.

Many Pakistani journalists are claiming that due to backdoor diplomacy and American interference, Prime Minister Modi and Shahbaz Sharif may meet in this meeting. However, the other side of the picture is that Sharif’s chair can go down at any time in the midst of heavy political turmoil in Pakistan.

Countries included in the SCO are
India, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. There are also four Observer Nations.

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