SCO Summit: No pleasantries exchanged between Narendra Modi, Imran KhanANI | Bishkek | Updated: 13-06-2019 22:27 IST | Created: 13-06-2019 22:16 IST
There was no meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan during the informal dinner hosted by Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov for the SCO leaders here, sources said on Thursday. According to sources, Khan and Modi did not even exchange pleasantries during the dinner hosted on the sidelines of the two-day summit.
While Khan is attending the SCO summit for the first time after assuming office last year, this is Modi's first visit to a multilateral forum after being re-elected for a second term. India had already clarified that there would be no bilateral meeting between the two leaders. This comes despite the Pakistan Prime Minister writing a letter to Modi, saying Islamabad wants dialogue with New Delhi to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries.
Moreover, Modi's chartered plane did not take the Pakistani air space for flying to Bishkek and instead flew via the circuitous route through Oman and Iran. Modi on Thursday told Chinese President Xi Jinping in their bilateral meeting that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free from terror and take concrete action to end the scourge, but does not see Islamabad doing it at this stage.
"There was a brief discussion on Pakistan. We have a consistent position with respect to Pakistan. The Prime Minister recalled that he has made efforts and these efforts have been derailed," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had told reporters here when he was asked whether Pakistan-sponsored terrorism that was spoiling the situation in the region came up at the meeting. "He has informed the Chinese President that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free of terror and at this stage, we do not see this happening. We expect it to take concrete action," he had said.
In last year's SCO summit held in China's Qingdao, Modi had shaken hands and exchanged pleasantries with then Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain during the grouping's meeting, amid frosty bilateral relationship between the two sides. Tensions between India and Pakistan have spiralled following the deadly February 14 Pulwama terror attack. New Delhi has remained rooted in its stand, saying that terror and talks with Islamabad cannot go together.
It may be noted that China is an all-weather ally of Pakistan.