Islamabad: In a key development, Pakistan has invited India for the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit.

Speaking at the news conference, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said if India has any issue in attending the meet in person, then it can participate in the meeting virtually.

As per the SAARC charter, if any of the members refuses to attend the meeting, then the summit will not be held.

The SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organization of eight countries of South Asia--Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Qureshi said, "Pakistan considers SAARC as an important forum. We are willing to host the 19th SAARC summit and if India has any issue in attending the summit in person then it can attend the meeting virtually."

Last year, India boycotted the SAARC summit which was scheduled for November 16, 2021, because of the tensions between the two countries.

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers meet slated to be held in New York was cancelled because Pakistan wanted the Taliban to represent Afghanistan in the SAARC meet.

India along with some other members objected to the proposal and due to lack of consensus or concurrence, the meet was cancelled.

It is learnt that the majority of members in SAARC agreed that empty chairs can be kept for Afghanistan during the meet. However, Pakistan did not agree and the meet was called off.