27 January, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Anurag Thakur, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, said on Friday that all member nations had been formally invited to the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organization Film Festival in Mu…
Anurag Thakur, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, said on Friday that all member nations had been formally invited to the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organization Film Festival in Mumbai and that their attendance was totally up to them.
The minister was responding to a media question on whether Pakistan, as a SCO member, had also been invited to the gathering. The cinema festival will feature 57 films from various SCO member states, but none from Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Thakur said, “All member countries were invited to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Film Festival and it was entirely upto them to decide if they want to attend the event. We extended invitations to all SCO members.”
The Union minister added, “Since this is a multinational festival, one expects all member countries to attend it.” Listing the member countries invited to the ongoing film fest, Thakur said, “We sent invitations to China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The event also features three observer states — Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.”
India presently has the SCO Council of Heads of State presidency for 2022-23. It is also in charge of the SCO Film Festival.
According to a PIB announcement, the gathering will also include Dialogue Partners Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, and Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar, UAE and Turkey.
Pakistan said on Thursday that it has yet to decide whether to accept India’s invitation to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to attend a SCO conference in Goa in May.
“Pakistan and India are members of SCO. India is holding the chairmanship of the SCO Council of Heads of State for 2022-2023. These invitations are being processed as per standard procedures and a decision will be taken in due course,” said the spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Bhutto has been invited to the SCO foreign ministers conference, which will be held in Goa on May 4 and 5, this year.